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University of Washington


Information and communications technology (ICT) itself does not provide communities with a more effective voice in the planning process. However, when ICT is used as a tool to build stronger neighborhood social networks, it can catalyze public participation in planning. The use of ICT as a community-building tool requires a combination of network infrastructure, hardware and software, according to the literature. Additionally, it requires the utilization of human social networks. Based on my study of Helsinki’s Arabianranta and Maunula neighborhoods, I found that catalyzing collaborative planning in Helsinki using ICT requires a combination of infrastructure, hardware, software, and, most importantly, social networks. The ICT projects in Arabianranta and Maunula represent a new paradigm of technology use in the neighborhood context. Both initiatives are relatively recent (conception and implementation in the last five to seven years) and this thesis looks critically at the conditions that make it possible to use ICT in collaborative planning.



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