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Let’s draw and talk about urban change: Deploying digital technology to encourage citizen participation in urban planning

Lookup NU author(s): Alexander Wilson, Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© The Author(s) 2019. Enhancing the role of citizens in shaping places has been a longstanding objective for governments, communities and the academy. Although a range of techniques has been developed by the state to give people an opportunity to get involved, these methods often struggle to create a meaningful way to communicate aspirations for places on citizens' terms. In this paper, we document the design, deployments and evaluation of a new technological device that enabled participants to share place views and aspirations beyond more traditional government engagement methods. The device, called JigsAudio, is an open-source device fabricated by the authors that encourages people to express themselves creatively through drawing and talking. The research contributes to our understanding of how accessible and free technologies can reduce barriers to participation, whilst encouraging creativity and expression when talking about the future of places. It goes on to discuss the potential of devices such as JigsAudio conceptually and practically within urban and regional change, and considers the balance that needs to be struck between utilising smart technology whilst creating accessible and meaningful opportunities that inspire citizens.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilson A, Tewdwr-Jones M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science

Year: 2019

Volume: 47

Issue: 9

Pages: 1588-1604

Print publication date: 01/11/2020

Online publication date: 25/02/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 19/03/2019

ISSN (print): 2399-8083

ISSN (electronic): 2399-8091

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/2399808319831290


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