Examining digital participatory planning: Maturity assessment in a Small Dutch city

Bouzguenda, Islam
Alalouch, Chaham
This paper calls for a rational and gradual transition to Digital Participatory Planning (DPP) as part of the sustainable smart city model. In recent years, the role that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) could play in advancing participatory planning has been widely acknowledged. The literature suggests that several factors are affecting the introduction of DPP into smart city planning. This study examines organization-related and society-related factors, aiming at identifying the level of maturity towards the introduction of DPP in cities, with particular attention to small European cities. These two groups of factors were examined in Schiedam, Netherlands via a mixed-methods approach and analyzed using NVIVO and SPSS software. The results suggest that for cities to be mature enough to introduce DPP, there should be an existing good practice of conventional participatory planning where the concept is extensively practiced, as well as a relatively high trust in the community engagement processes and sufficiently high digital technology literacy among the residents. Thus, maturity levels in cities should be assessed and policies should be developed accordingly to ensure a successful transition toward sus- tainable smart cities, in light of the findings reported in this study ​
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