Digital Cities Projects: New Channels for Community Participation? A Sociological Assessment
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
Dra Bárbara Barbosa Neves
Research Fellow, Centre for Public Administration & Policies, Institute of Social and Political Sciences