Urban Information Systems and Digital Channels to Enhance Transparency and Participation in Urban Planning

Urban Information Systems and Digital Channels to Enhance Transparency and Participation in Urban Planning

Beatriz Santos (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4018-3.ch004
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Through the use of information and communication technologies, Public Administrations make its relevant information related to issues of public interest available for citizens. In the specific field of urban planning, Spanish administrations are making a huge effort to improve the urban information and make it available online for citizens developing Urban Information Systems, tools based on Geographic Information Systems which offer visualization and interaction options and increase transparency. More recently, digital channels have started to be used to enhance participation and promote democratic processes at regional, municipal, and local level. The chapter analyses different digital tools and services implemented to improve transparency in urban planning and web-based participation processes developed in Spain to check the result of these developments concluding that there is still a long considerable way to go since information and communications technologies offers a lot of options and tools to improve these processes, particularly through the application of PPGIS.
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2. Literature Review

There is a growing body of literature about citizen participation. Authors explore its outcomes (Irvin & Stansbury, 2004), new requirements and roles for Administrations (Lyn & Martin, 1991; King, Feltey & O’Neil, 1998), techniques to improve it (Crosby, Kelly & Schaefer, 1986; Thomas, 1995), particularities about the planning process (Day, 1997) and distinct styles of approach (Benwell, 1980). Papers focus on the need to reframe this issue (Booher & Innes, 2002; Booher & Innes, 2004) concluding that participation must be collaborative and effective methods should involve collaboration, dialogue and interaction among citizens and other stakeholders.

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