Citizen participation and ICT for urban development in Oslo
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Information and communications technologies provide a useful catalyst for promoting political participation in urban development. However, implicit biases often influence the design of those technologies, which can reinforce social disadvantages. Design processes can therefore create barriers that prevent or limit an individual’s or group’s ability to access or use technology and contribute to digital divides that segregate active users from users that experience barriers accessing or using technology. This chapter takes a universal design perspective, which is a design methodology and philosophy, that positions technology design as a means for ensuring participation in all aspects of society. This chapter explores the role of the design, development and implementation of participatory platforms as a mediators in citizen participation and urban development. The case study of a limited set of semi-structured interviews provides a basis for illustrating some experiences of citizens in Oslo who have used Si din mening, a participatory platform implemented by the city government. This chapter, therefore, sheds light on the ways in which local municipalities can ensure access and use of participatory platforms for as wide a population as possible. A heuristic analysis of one of the platforms provides further support and insights into potential patterns of use.