Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

In Waze We Trust: Algorithmic Governance of the Public Sphere

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Abstract:  This article explores the current ‘place’ of e-government in realizing public value in the context of what seems to be an emerging platform urbanism. It highlights a complex platform-based urban ecosystem encompassing private and public organisations and citizens. This ‘mainstreaming’ of e-government practices puts demands on cities and governments to reconsider their own role in ‘city making’ so as to achieve meaningful public oversight. The point of departure is the operationalization of this ‘place’ by conceptualizing participation and (multi-sided) platformisation as a framework to draw attention to the dynamic domain of e-governance where shifts can be seen in market structures, infrastructures, and changing forms of governance, and which may challenge the public interest. This is illustrated by an exploration of the social traffic and navigation application Waze.

Keywords:  e-governance; participation; platforms; public value; social navigation application; smart city; Waze


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© shenja van der Graaf. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.