Discussions and Decisions: Enabling Participation in Design in Geographical Communities

Discussions and Decisions: Enabling Participation in Design in Geographical Communities

Volkmar Pipek (University of Bonn, Germany), Oliver Marker (GMD-Germany National Research Center for Information Technology, Germany), Claus Rinner (GMD-Germany National Research Center for Information Technology, Germany) and Barbara Schmidt-Belz (GMD-Germany National Research Center for Information Technology, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-69-8.ch025
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Abstract

Communities frequently encounter design problems they have to deal with, be it their own representation in different media (e.g., the World Wide Web) or a design problem from the “real world” (e.g., urban planning). Major connotations with the term “community” are that there may be a great number of members and that the members of a community may differ according to their knowledge, experiences, abilities and intentions with great variety. This is especially true for geographic communities, where the only thing all members have in common is the place where they live, and which may have up to several million members. Of course, geographical communities always have had to organise their design processes. As a part of political decision making in democracies, most “design decisions” are delegated to elected representatives in a city council, in a state parliament or in equivalent institutions in a federation of states. However, in some cases the integration of direct participation of community members into planning processes was intended or turned out to be helpful. This is especially true for urban and regional planning in Germany, where citizens are invited to participate in the planning process.

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