Who are the citizens in public participation GIS

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearch

448 Downloads (Pure)


The issue of public participation goes back to the late sixties and early seventies. Local and regional authorities made brochures and posters and arranged meetings to really involve the citizens. Recent advances in GIS and the Internet have improved the technical possibilities for supporting the public participation through PPGIS systems. On the other hand there have been too much focus on many technical aspects of public participation with reduced focus on the citizens. We should not be too fascinated of the technological possibilities and forget the digital divide as well as the value of face to face discussions between the citizens. Equal opportunities to express their opinions and an open debate between people are the basic foundation for democracy. Therefore the design of participatory processes must take outset in the citizens and their knowledge and commitment concerning the issue to be debated. The current paper has presented the results of a survey among actively involved citizens in Northern Jutland County. Our analysis showed a high degree of involvement among middle-age well-educated males with a higher education and income above average. Additionally, the analysis shows that he is political active and familiar with the Internet. This group represents perhaps less than 5% of the adult population. It seems that contrary to the planner's vision of an open debate among all citizens, the result is a debate among a rather limited group. Perhaps, it would be better to actively identify stakeholders among a broader group of citizens, and ask for their opinion. Especially women and younger generations are much more needed in the participatory process. Therefore the county administration must consider these findings to make the participation tools more targeted in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of UDMS '06 : 25th Urban Data Management Symposium
EditorsElfriede Fendel, Massimo Rumor
PublisherUrban Data Management Society
Publication date2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventUrban Data Management Symposium - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 15 May 200617 May 2006
Conference number: 25


ConferenceUrban Data Management Symposium


Dive into the research topics of 'Who are the citizens in public participation GIS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this