Making cities wiser – Crowdsourcing for better decisions

Maarit Kahila and Anna Broberg at FIG: “The need in urban planning to make knowledge-driven decisions has spurred the creation of new solutions to gather and utilize insight from residents. Participatory planning has often been realized through workshops and during face-to-face encounters, but little of the knowledge gathered in these situations is of use in further urban planning and city development. New technological innovations, such as map-based public participation tools, support gathering information that matters and makes cities wiser. Interaction with citizens not only creates information, but supports also learning and innovation building, and creates trusts.

Technological innovations like Maptionnaire help gather information that makes cities wiser. Maptionnaire is a leading solution for collecting, analyzing and discussing resident insight on a map. With the help of Maptionnaire, various cities have been able to change their modus operandi. Through these learning processes actors from different sectors of the city are brought together to create joint understanding of the possibilities of public participation. Cities have started to value and use resident input as an equally important part of its knowledge base for planning. There is a great potential for more efficient use of participatory tools to make processes smoother and to save money. Future development work is needed to further facilitate knowledge transfer from residents to the use of planners and other city officials.

In our presentation we will present different innovative case studies from Finland and abroad where Maptionnaire has been used to support two-way communication in different phases of planning processes. Based on our findings we will draft a new public participation model that assist the effective gathering of experiential knowledge from inhabitants, provide high quality place-based data for various analysis and informs participants about the stage and goals of the planning process more innovatively….(More)”.