Collaboration is an iterative process where people work together to solve a problem or develop an idea. Collaboration is more complex than reporting because solutions are not clear – it’s not simply fixing something that is broken. Civic technology applications have been developed for three main aspects of collaboration:
Process applications are designed to help users and agencies come to a decision on complicated issues. They include tools such as voting mechanisms, reputation systems, and links to educational information designed to help facilitate the decision-making process.
Process applications provide a structured forum where users can discuss ideas for solving problems and improving services. They are especially good for obtaining input on large transport projects or investments.
Public agencies should actively monitor discussions on process applications to make certain that they remain civil and on subject. It’s good practice to set clear rules for participation in advance and require users to agree to these rules before being allowed to participate.
Providing information to participants helps improve the quality of ideas and suggestions in all public involvement processes, especially for highly technical subjects like transport.
Internet-based applications are excellent tools for providing information. They can be designed to be highly interactive (e.g., games like BusMeister) and to present information on levels from introductory to highly detailed. One of the great advantages of the Internet is that open source libraries of these tools can be created so that each project does not need to re-invent their own educational programs. We’ve identified three main types of educational applications: games, references and interactive applications.
We want to encourage as many people as possible to participate in public processes because more people means better ideas and more support for the end results. Public support is especially important for complex and controversial projects. Engagement consists of attracting people and keeping them involved in the process.
Gamification, using aspects of game design in the user experience (giving “points” for degree of participation) is a good approach for keeping people actively involved in public processes.
Read more about Transport Games and how they can be used to encourage engagement.
Blog Posts: Collaboration
UPDATE – October 2016 – Mini Metro is available on smart phones and tablets … Transit Maps Mini Metro game review from Cameron Booth’s indispensable Transit Maps blog. The Dinosaur Polo Club, game developers from New Zealand, have developed the Mini Metro transport game. According to their website, “Mini Metro is a minimalist subway simulation game about designing […]
From: “Data Driven Cities“, by Sally Kneeshaw in URBACT News: 22 January 2015: Nesta in the UK, in collaboration with Code for Europe partners, hosts the Civic Exchange network allowing cities to find and share technology in order to deliver better public services. The showcase starts from the fact that cities across Europe share similar problems, […]
Ringstrasse 150 is a project to crowdsource ideas for making Vienna’s Ringstrasse the world’s most liveable street. We’re looking for ideas to make it safe and attractive for pedestrians and bicyclists – helping encourage more people to walk, bike and promenade along this historic boulevard. The project will include a detailed map for crowdsourcing ideas, […]
Our “Smart City” focus is on people and participation (see my presentation “People make cities smart”) and we’ll be using this website to showcase interesting ideas and projects focused on people. The “Hello Lamp Post” project is a great example of a wonderful way to engage people and increase their awareness of city systems. But, […]