Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Editorial | Open Access

Citizen Participation, Digital Agency, and Urban Development

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Abstract:  Today’s exponential advancement of information and communication technologies is reconfiguring participatory urban development practices. The use of digital technology implies new forms of decentralised governance, collaborative knowledge production, and social activism. The digital transformation has the potential to overcome shortcomings in citizen participation, make participatory processes more deliberative, and enable collaborative approaches for making cities. While digital tools such as digital mapping, e-participation platforms, location-based games, and social media offer new opportunities for the various actors and may act as a catalyst for renegotiating urban space and collective goods, digitalisation can also perpetuate or even attenuate existing inequalities and exclusion. This editorial introduces the thematic issue “Citizen Participation, Digital Agency, and Urban Development” which focuses on the trajectories and (dis)continuities of citizen participation through digitalisation and elaborates this with examples from Europe and Asia on how the digital transformation impacts, challenges, or reproduces hegemonic power relations in urban development.

Keywords:  activism; citizen participation; digitalisation; multi-stakeholder; urban development



© Simone Tappert, Asma Mehan, Pekka Tuominen, Zsuzsanna Varga. 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.