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Digital Community Planning: The Open Source Way to the Top of Arnstein's Ladder


  • Enzo Falco

    (GSSI Cities, Gran Sasso Science Institute, L'Aquila, Italy)


Citizen participation in planning as a decision-making and future-oriented activity is still in the hands of government. New advances in Information Communication Technologies and community informatics have allowed new forms of e-participation and e-planning to emerge. The article refers to theories of social psychology and digital rationality to support the use of ICTs and Web 2.0 in planning as means to deliver more meaningful and independent participatory processes. Moreover, it looks into different planning approaches to and theories of participation to argue and conclude that a digital community and plural planning approach may provide communities with a better setting to move up Arnstein's ladder of citizen participation. The article presents three different open source software and one proprietary software which can be used in practice by citizen groups to produce planning documents. Based on these findings, future research will explore the application of the approach and tools in an urban setting in close collaboration with grass-roots and citizens organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Enzo Falco, 2016. "Digital Community Planning: The Open Source Way to the Top of Arnstein's Ladder," International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR), IGI Global, vol. 5(2), pages 1-22, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jepr00:v:5:y:2016:i:2:p:1-22

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