Digital Cities Projects: New Channels for Community Participation? A Sociological Assessment

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This paper addresses an empirical study of two Portuguese digital cities (Gaia Global and Aveiro Digital) and their goal to reinforce citizenship and to support community participation. The digital cities consist of an information and communication network that connects citizens, public and private sectors of a certain territory. In the Portuguese case, their main objectives are to provide ways for the exercise of citizenship; to promote the interaction between citizens, local government and the community; to increase the local sustainable development and to train and include all citizens in the present Information and Knowledge Society. Therefore, all these actions and initiatives are assessed in a three-year research, based on a sociological approach and on a methodological triangulation that engages a multiple case study, e-surveys, interviews, site content analysis and a comparative matrix. The preliminary findings of this study are here presented and discussed.

Keywords: Digital Cities, Information and Communication Technologies ICTs), Citizenship, Community, Information and Knowledge Society
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
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Dra Bárbara Barbosa Neves

Research Fellow, Centre for Public Administration & Policies, Institute of Social and Political Sciences
Lisbon, Portugal

Bárbara Barbosa Neves is a Research Fellow of Centre for Public Administration & Policies (Institute of Social and Political Sciences of Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal) and a sociology PhD student of Technical University of Lisbon and Netlab, University of Toronto. Her research is based on the study/assessment of the social impact of technology. Currently, she is working on the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology funded projects on digital cities, electronic government and in the relation between Internet and Social Capital.

Ref: T08P0311