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Public participation—the process of engaging citizens and stakeholders in collaborative problem solving and decision making—has been around for a few decades. Whether urban planning, participatory budgeting or environmental conflict resolution, the basic principles of designing and running effective consultations to gather citizen input or co-create policy solutions are, for the most part, well understood.
The use of technology to support and enhance these participatory efforts, on the other hand, is still a fairly young and emerging discipline. While there have been many advancements in this area in recent years, the lessons learned still aren’t always readily available for practitioners.
This fast-paced and interactive panel will explore what it takes to deliver successful online consultations. We’ll go over the basic processes involved, look at some of the typical challenges and how they can be addressed, and highlight innovative tools and projects from around the world.
Technology, if applied properly, can greatly increase the opportunity for citizens to participate in the decisions that shape their future. With this session, we want to give anyone involved in delivering on this promise a solid head start.
by Michael Uffer, Julie Blitzer and Jerry Jariyasunant
The centerpiece of the urban lifestyle is an extensive, reliable public transportation system. Transit riders are embracing smartphones, 3G, 4G and even tablets. These tools can help us get better information, faster. Learn what changes are giving information in real-time and for trip planning. The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) created NotifyNYC in 2009 "to enhance NYC's emergency public communications to the public." NotifyNYC allows NYC residents to sign up for transit notifications in a format of their choice, SMS, email, voice recording, Twitter or RSS for any or all boroughs. Numerous third-party applications exist in New York, including Exit Strategy NYC, which tells the user where to wait for the train so as to minimize station exit time upon arrival. San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) website offers developers a huge amount of resources including a comprehensive API with schedules, station information and real-time service updates. The BART site features third-party applications developed using the API for iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac and more. This panel will examine creative new projects that enhance our lives as city residents on the go, including how these websites and applications could reduce costs, bureaucracy and response time in public transit.
11th–15th March 2011