Discussions in space : interactive urban screens for enhancing citizen engagement

Schroeter, Ronald (2012) Discussions in space : interactive urban screens for enhancing citizen engagement. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Local governments struggle to engage time poor and seemingly apathetic citizens, as well as the city's young digital natives, the digital locals. Capturing the attention of this digitally literate community who are technology and socially savvy adds a new quality to the challenge of community engagement for urban planning. This project developed and tested a lightweight design intervention towards removing the hierarchy between those who plan the city and those who use it. The aim is to narrow this gap by enhancing people's experience of physical spaces with digital, civic technologies that are directly accessible within that space. The study's research informed the development of a public screen system called Discussions In Space (DIS). It facilitates a feedback platform about specific topics, e.g., a concrete urban planning project, and encourages direct, in-situ, real-time user responses via SMS and Twitter. The thesis presents the findings of deploying and integrating DIS in a wide range of public and urban environments, including the iconic urban screen at Federation Square in Melbourne, to explore the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) related challenges and implications. It was also deployed in conjunction with a major urban planning project in Brisbane to explore the system's opportunities and challenges of better engaging with Australia's new digital locals. Finally, the merits of the short-texted and ephemeral data generated by the system were evaluated in three focus groups with professional urban planners. DIS offers additional benefits for civic participation as it gives voice to residents who otherwise would not be easily heard. It also promotes a positive attitude towards local governments and gathers complementary information that is different than that captured by more traditional public engagement tools.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 50771
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Foth, Marcus, Roe, Paul, & Satchell, Christine
Keywords: Interactive urban screens, citizen engagement
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 05 Jun 2012 07:14
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 02:22

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