Citizen Participation and ICT for Urban Development in Oslo, Norway
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The Green Capital of Europe (Oslo in 2017) is a demonstration of effective waste management and energy efficiency capabilities of Oslo. This sustainability had been possible because of local government and municipalities involving citizens of Oslo in the decisions pertaining to local environment. Planning and Building Act (2008) clearly emphasized that all the planning and administrative decisions shall ensure transparency and public participation. Theoretically Citizen participation is the key to urban development in every country and Norway (Oslo being the capital) have showcased it practically. In this paper, the same is demonstrated where people have shared their opinion through digital means and those have been considered by the planning and building department. The qualitative research presented in this paper is based on the questionnaire which covers different aspects of Citizen Participation including use of social media and digital platforms by local municipality, Citizen's competence, and experience of using such tools and positivity of being a Democratic Participants. Data is collected based on citizen's use of digital platforms which the government or local municipalities use for getting inputs from citizens. Thematic analysis of the interviews considers the impact of Citizen's involvements, their participation, and a sense of satisfaction after their thoughts are valued and suggestions are taken positively. Analysis led to the following themes as Technology (ICT) and Social Media Usage for Citizen Participation, Design/Comfortability of Participation Platforms, Problems/Barriers for using Digital Platforms, Improvements required for better Participation and Citizen's Satisfaction after Participation. The in-depth qualitative study reveals that the current Digital Platform for citizen participation in Oslo is very concise and effective for every age group to participate and share their view. The results of Thematic Analysis for Oslo are then also compared with those of Ukraine. Since both the countries have different perspectives to Citizen Participation, it was interesting to study how ICT platform is designed and helps in efficient citizen participation.