3D Digital City Platforms as Collaborative and Decision-Making Tools for Small Municipalities and Rural Areas

3D Digital City Platforms as Collaborative and Decision-Making Tools for Small Municipalities and Rural Areas

Barbara L. Maclennan (West Virginia University, USA) and Susan J. Bergeron (Coastal Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4852-4.ch030
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Abstract

This chapter explores how the development and implementation of a 3D digital city platform can be utilized in the context of solid waste management and sustainable planning in a small municipality or largely rural areas with limited resources. By leveraging 3D visualization and Web 2.0 functionality to allow stakeholders to collaborate on equal footing, digital city platforms can help with day-to-day management of solid waste assets and facilities, planning for solid waste and recycling facilities and drop-offs, mapping and planning efficient waste hauler routes, and identifying issues such as underserved populations and illegal dumping.
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Background

At the heart of the movement to leverage the social media aspects of Web 2.0 for open government and public participation, known as Government 2.0 (Gov 2.0) is the belief that the relationship between government and citizen is a two way dialogue or a collaborative, transparent effort to create good government (O’Reilly, 2010). Technology, specifically Web 2.0, plays an integral role in establishing and encouraging this dialogue, making it accessible to anyone with access to the Internet at home, the public library, or increasingly on mobile phones. The central focus of Gov 2.0 is to build on the concept of government as a platform by leveraging the social networking aspects of Web 2.0 to develop data structures and applications that allow a dynamic, transparent relationship between government and its constituents (O’Reilly, 2010).

However, involving citizens in government does not begin when a technological application is launched to the public; it starts with the act of wanting to involve citizens in the government process. The more transparent a local government, the more likely that local government wants the public to actively participate in its policy process and in turn the more likely the public will want to participate. Internally, when local government officials support innovation and transparency, government employees feels more comfortable in extending the resources to do so. Externally, when the public feels wanted in the policy process, it strengthens their trust in the legitimacy of policy decisions. Quinn (2002) found that “The closer people are to the culture of the knowledge being transferred, the easier it is to share and exchange.” If the willingness to involve the public in government processes does not exist, then technology cannot create it.

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