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b-Part

Building Pervasive Participation

The b-Part project investigated novel concepts and solutions for citizen e-participation utilizing latest mobile device technology and appliances embedded in today’s urban environments. The research project aimed to support development of pervasive participation in European cities and to strengthen the citizens’ involvement in governance. The approach considered each level of e-participation: enabling, engaging, and empowering citizens with the ultimate aim of encouraging a continuous dialogue between a city and citizens by using contemporary technology. In a highly interdisciplinary approach, involving end-users through urban living labs in Turku and Vienna, b-Part combined user-centered pervasive interaction research with social studies to explore engagement and activation as well as research on democratic innovations to ensure integration into the overall political decision making process.

A mobile application was developed for citizens to propose own ideas and voice concerns related to urban planning and urban life by posting geo-referenced contributions. Within the living lab trial, city officials responded and gave feedback to citizens input but also received relevant insights to current plans themselves. The rich data set gathered through usage logs, two surveys and several interviews allowed a quite detailed analysis of various aspects impacting public participation, including the impact of various game elements integrated in the mobile participation application. Results have been presented as recommendations for the design of future democratic innovations.

Key Words: e-participation; motivation; gamification; pervasive; mobile participation

Start: April 2013

Duration: 3 3/4 years

Customer / Funding Organisation: FFG | JPI Urban Europe

Website: www.b-part.eu

AIT-Contact: Peter Fröhlich