Crowdsourcing Urban Sustainability Governance (CROWD_USG)

About

CROWD_USG is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research project by Chiara Certomà, exploring how increasing ICT-people interactions are transforming the governance of urban sustainability. In this page you will find information about the project, about Chiara Certomà and about the CDO at Ghent University. This information is intended both for citizens and researchers interested in the potential of crowdsourcing for advancing co-creative and participatory innovation networks toward just and sustainable urban development.

CROWD_USG is een Marie Sklodowska-Curie project van Chiara Certomà dat verkennend onderzoek doet naar de invloed van toenemende mens-ICT interactie op de governance modellen voor een stedelijke duurzaamheid. Op deze pagina vind je informatie over het project, over Chiara Certomà en over de gastinstelling, het CDO van de Universiteit Gent. Deze informatie is bedoeld voor burgers en onderzoekers die geïnteresseerd zijn in de mogelijkheden van crowdsourcing om co-creatieve en participatieve netwerken te bevorderen die betrekking hebben op complexe uitdagingen van stedelijke duurzaamheid.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellowship Programme, grant agreement No 740191.

 

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How can crowdsourcing processes affect the governance of urban sustainability?

This is the key question CROWD_USG project focuses on. Untitled

In the recent decades cities attracted scholars and practitioners’ interest as the appropriate space for experimenting innovative strategies for urban sustainability governance, which requires a balance between environmental protection measures, social cohesion and the provision of democracy. Special attention is now devoted to the adoption of participatory approaches, and the interactive web has been often welcomed as a shortcut toward the democratisation of governance processes.

Particularly, crowdsourcing can impact on traditional governance model by reviewing the mode of interaction between governing bodies, research institutions, business and social actors. This can generate citywide technological leap-frogging and community-based decentralised knowledge and policy production systems; and can lead to the attainment of sustainability goals by fuelling the integration of environmental, social and economic priorities in the urban governance agenda

Sitting on the critical geography tradition, CROWD_USG uses Actor-Network Theory and Scenario Building for modeling current material-semiotic fluxes in USG; and for prefiguring future social, political and economic development determined by the introduction of crowdsourcing processes.

CROWD_USG project envisages:

  • the exploration of current knowledge on the adoption of crowdsourcing processes for fuelling participatory governance processes and dealing with urban sustainability issues;
  • the data collection and analysis of forefront applications in the city of Ghent, Belgium;
  • the analysis of how technological agency can transform knowledge production and decision-making processes.

CROWD_USG is hosted by the Centre for Sustainable Development (CDO) at Ghent University.

CROWD_USG @UGent H2020 repository

Curious to learn more? Get in touch!

Hoe kan crowdsourcing de governance van stedelijke duurzaamheid beïnvloeden?

Dat is de centrale onderzoeksvraag van CROWD_USG.

In de afgelopen decennia stonden steden in de belangstelling van academici en praktijkmensen als experimenteerruimte voor governance strategieën voor stedelijke duurzaamheid. Die governance modellen vereisen een evenwicht tussen milieubescherming, sociale cohesie en democratie en participatie. Daarbij worden de toepassing van participatieve processen en het interactief gebruik van het internet dikwijls verwelkomd als een binnenweg voor de democratisering van governance processen.

In het bijzonder kan crowdsourcing de interactie tussen overheidsinstanties, academische wereld, bedrijfsleven en het maatschappelijk middenveld herzien of herijken. Daaruit kunnen stadsbrede sprongsgewijze technologische vooruitgang voortkomen, samen met gemeenschapsgerichte en gedecentraliseerde besluitvormingssystemen. Die verschillende systemen kunnen vervolgens de integratie van ecologische, sociale en economische prioriteiten in de stedelijke beleidsagenda bevorderen. Op die manier kunnen ten slotte duurzaamheidsdoelstellingen bereikt worden.

In het kader van de kritische geografie hanteert CROWD_USG de Actor-Network Theory (van Latour) om de huidige materieel-semiotische stromen in de governance voor stedelijke duurzaamheid te modelleren. Bovendien gaat de benadering van de scenariobouw dienst doen als verbeelding van mogelijke toekomstige sociale en politieke ontwikkelingen die mee door de introductie van crowdsourcing worden bepaald.

CROWD_USG voorziet in:

  • Een brede verkenning van de huidige kennis over crowdsourcing in het kader van participatieve governance processen rond stedelijke duurzaamheidskwesties,
  • De analyse van voorhoede toepassingen in de stad Gent, België,
  • Een wetenschappelijk onderzoek over de manier waarop technologische competenties de besluitvormingsprocessen kunnen beïnvloeden,

CROWD_USG is te gast bij het CDO van de Universiteit Gent.

Geïnteresseerd? Neem contact op!


About Chiara Certomà

Chiara Certomà is Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Development (CDO), Department of Political Sciences, Ghent University.1

Chiara’s research interest lies at the junction of the two macro areas of Science, Society & Technology studies and Space, Society & the Environment. Her work focuses on planning and governance processes performed by heterogeneous, multilayered and multiscalar networks. Key questions refer to how these networks assemble and negotiate socio-environmental issues, and how the material and semiotic implications of their agency is brought to the public fore.

Further information and research products are available on her personal page here or @UGent-CDO and on her profile on ResearchGate.

Chiara Certomà is een postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan het CDO, een onderzoeksgroep van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Gent.

Chiara’s onderzoeksinteresse ligt op het kruispunt van twee onderzoeksgebieden, namelijk ‘Science, Technology & Society studies’ enerzijds en ‘Space, Society & Environment’ anderzijds. Zij is geïnteresseerd in planning en governance processen, waarin multi-actor en multi-level beleidsnetwerken actief zijn. Haar onderzoeksfocus is gericht op de manier waarop deze netwerken socio-ecologische kwesties behandelen en op de wijze waarop de netwerkcompetenties op het publieke forum worden gebracht.

Verdere informatie is beschikbaar op haar personal page  en op haar profile on ResearchGate


About CDO @ UGent 

Founded in 1995, the Centre for Sustainable Development (Centrum voor Duurzame Ontwikkeling – CDO) at Ghent University is committed to multi- and transdisciplinary research on the social and political dimensions of environment and sustainability issues. The identity of the CDO lies in the use of a nuanced constructivist epistemology, critical policy analysis frameworks, participative research methods, multiperspectivist approaches and, last but not least, the framing of sustainability issues as ‘political’ matter. CDO is hosted by the Department of Political Sciences and is further embedded in several networks both within and outside Ghent University.

Scientific supervision to the project is provided by prof. Thomas Block.

Curious about sustainabilty in research? Watch the video!

More info on the CDO here.

Sinds de oprichting in 1995 is het CDO toegewijde aan het multi- en transdisciplinair onderzoek naar de sociale en politieke dimensies van ecologische en duurzaamheidskwesties. De identiteit van het CDO ligt in het gebruik van een genuanceerde constructivistische epistemologie, denkkaders uit de kritische politieke analyse, participatieve onderzoeksmethodes, multiperspectivistische benaderingen en, last but not least, het benaderen van duurzaamheidsproblemen als politieke kwesties. Het CDO is gesitueerd in de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen en is verder ingebed in verschillende duurzaamheidsnetwerken, zowel binnen als buiten de Universiteit Gent.

Wetenschappelijke promotor van het centrum is prof. Thomas Block.

Meer informatie over het CDO vindt u hiere.

Crowdsourcing Ghent

Ghent is a dynamic and innovation-oriented city, experimenting original solutions in sustainability governance, and aiming at pioneering green-infrastructure development, ethical and sustainable consumption and business models, ecosystem services valuing, and social cohesion and participation.

Gent is een dynamische en innovatieve stad, waar geëxperimenteerd wordt met originele aanpak van het model voor duurzaamheidsgovernance. De stadsorganisatie van Gent wil een pioniersrol op zich nemen op het vlak van de ontwikkeling van groene infrastructuur, business modellen voor ethische en duurzame consumptie, het waarderen van ecosysteem diensten, het bevorderen van sociale cohesie en burgerparticipatie.


Crowdsourcing in Ghent

This map helps locate projects, initiatives and institutions related to participatory and sustainable urbanism.

You can zoom in and out (it’s not just Ghent!)

Everyone is welcome to add items on the map! You can do that in two ways:

1) By enlarging it (top right button) and logging in to Google Maps, if you have a Google account and you are familiar with Google Maps.

2) By sending us a note with the project/initiative/institution you would like to add, and we’ll be happy to do it for you. Suggest a project or a crowd lab!


Crowdsourcing and digital social participation

Ghent Living Lab

Digipolis

Imec

AppsForGhent

Interactive Cities

Foreplay: Technology in the city of people

Crowdfounding Gent

Wijs van Gent

Indienet   – Aral Balkan on Gent

Alle Gentenaars digitaal

Gent Smart City- Eurocity 2013

Digitale Week

Adem

Ingegno

Off-line Participatory initiatives

De Commons in Gent

Commons Gent

Commons transition in Gent – P2P Foundation

Refill

Peerby

Timelab

Ruimte voor Gent

Sharefest Ghent 2013

BurgerBudget

WATT Factory (see Gent, a true city of people note)

DeStadsAcademie

Ideeen voor MMM

Cokido

DeCommunity

Dienst Beleidsparticipatie – Gent Stad

Strategische Coordinatie – Gent Stad

Project Gent Sint-Pieters

CIVITAS Award for Public Participation

Manouvre

Samenlevingsopbouw

Gent City of People  now City of People

City of People

Sustainability

REGent

Ghent Bio-Economy Valley

UGent Sustainable Energy Technologies – SET

Ghent toward a sustainable city

Transitie UGent

EnerGent

Gent Klimaastad

Gentsmilieufront

Gent Green Capital

Bond Beter Leefmilieu

Gents milieu front

Natur en Bos

Bral

Gent Stad – Natuur en Milieu

Fietserbond

Dienst Milieu en Klimaat  -Gent Stad

Gent Mobility Plan

Gent Climate Plan

Scientific references

(More scientific references in the resources page)

Events and Press


Events

index30 August 2019, RGS-IBG Annual Internation Conference 2019, London, session “Digital democracy: Geographies of trouble and geographies of hope”

Presentation of the paper: Digital Social Participation transforming urban governance. A scenario building exercise in Ghent

The paper explores how the adoption of digital social participation processes (can) impact on the traditional process of urban governance. Specifically, this interrogates the objectives, potentiatlities and consequences of the introduction of technology-mediated participatory processes in the city of Ghent, Belgium, by providing some alternative scenarios for future developments. It has been claimed that DSP processes can enable ordinary citizens to take part in knowledge-production and socio-political decision-making by also encouraging the expansion of public debate and questioning the socio-political underpinning of traditional governance processes, and the formation of political agenda. Crowdsourcing-kind processes (including participation platforms, citizens’ science, participatory sensing, social mapping, e-pulling and similar) have been demonstrated via pioneering experiments to contribute at fostering far-flung genius of social actors in shaping the city organisation and functioning, and at fuelling the emergence of a new governance model characterised by distributed technological agency.

On the base of the results of the EU MSCA project “CROWD_USG” we investigate how crowdsourcing affects traditional urban governance processes by prefiguring future governance scenarios that are likely to occur in consequence of the introduction of digital participation technologies in the city of Ghent. Building upon the critical perspective on “internet for society” studies, we evaluate how and whether digital social participation are actually transforming urban governance processes; what opportunities, problems and consequences it brings about; what actors are empowered or excluded; what kind of issues are prioritized and what tools and processes for addressing them are privileged; and in general what are the foreseeable social, environmental or economic consequences.

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 10.36.4312the August 2019

Chiara Certomà is now Project Partner at Forum Disuguaglianza Diversità

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 20.41.155th August 2019, 1 pm, F Block, Computer Science Seminar Room, Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand

Exploring Digital Social Participation for Urban Governance

The seminar presents the recently concluded Marie Skłodowska-Curie project titled Crowdsourcing Urban Sustainability Governance. This is intended to collectively discuss the potentialities and risks of digital participation in the city planning and management. Digital social participation (DSP) processes are currently widely experimented in many European cities and promise to have a disruptive effect on the tokenistic forms of citizens participation and the traditional governance models. Nevertheless, critical scholars and internet activists recently raised doubts about the actual possibilities, intrinsic limits and external obstacles of technological citizenry and the use of DSP in urban planning, governance and management. The seminar proposes the results of a strategic qualitative scenario building analysis in the city of Ghent, Belgium. This aims at investigating the potential effects of the digital turn on participatory governance; and to explore how different combinations of key-drivers identified by local informants are able to disclose potentialities, pitfalls and consequences of DSP. The resulting scenarios offer a privileged standpoint and a situated perspective for an expert discussion on the currently un-resolved issues brought about by DSP. These include the broadening and transformation of participation meaning and practices; the capability and possibility to govern digital social innovation and participation in a new public-private governance regime; the shift of power geometries and the empowerment mechanisms that can (or cannot) turn the hyperconnected city of futurist technology-optimist narrative into a City of People.

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25th June, Marzyciele i Rzemieślnicy, Bracka 25, Warsaw

New Urban Visions: Bringing digital social innovation into City Hall

Discussing the European digital social innovaton index at the final conference of DSI4EU project.

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14th June 2019, Cartiera Latina, Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica, Rome, dalle 16.30 alle 19.00

Coltivare la città. Spazio pubblico, cittadinanza attiva e nuove ecologie urbane

 

 

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5th June 2019, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome

Eu-SPRI 2019 Conference “Science Technology and Innovation Policies for Sustainable Development Goals” Presentation of the paper Crowdsourcing as social innovation for urban sustainability governance in Europe

 

CrowdUSG final seminar 29th May 2019, 2 pm – 4 pm, UGent Urban Academy / Green Hub, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 31 (plinth UFO building, next to Arts Center Vooruit)

“Exploring Digital Social Participation for urban governance in Ghent” – CROWD_USG Final Seminar – UGent Urban Academy Session

The session is the final event of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie project Crowdsourcing Urban Sustainability Governance and will be introduced by a brief presentation on the project aims, activities and results. The focus of the session is to discuss with you collectively or in two small groups, together with the positive outcomes, also the pitfalls and threats of digital participation in the planning and managing of the city. To this end we will introduce the projects results in the form of provisional conclusions and seek for your help to further explore both the bright and the dark side of digital social participation. We also want to collect and formulate new research questions on digital participation that Master students can discuss within the Urban Academy. Dowload here the flyer_of  CROWD_USG final seminar

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16.05.2016 NUI Galway University,Cube and Stage venue in Aras na MacLeinn, from 1.45 to 3.15 and 3.45 to 5.15

Presentation “Co-creating, commoning, sharing. Digital participation for urban sustainability governance in Gent”, session “Beyond the Ivory Tower: Bringing researchers and activists together in addressing complex sustainability challenges”,EUGEO2019

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 11.09.27Dag van de Wetenshap , Vlandereen,  Wooow Science Festival, 25th November 2018, 14:00 -15:00 u. – MIAT, zaal 4.6 Palladium

Assemble, mobilise, impact! Gentenaars’ way to (digital) social innovation

A Pecha Kucha is a presentation of 20×20 seconds. Short and to the point! In this 6’40” presentation Chiara Certomà will tell you everything about a citizen-lead project in Ghent. And… there are more English-spoken Pecha Kucha presentations in this series. You are invited to discover them all! Co-creating, commoning, sharing: a new imaginary of participatory city is rising. Citizen-lead innovative experiences – from consultation to engagement – are impacting city planning, urban metabolism and the governance of socio-environmental sustainability. Interactive web and digital participation processes promise to democratize the mode of interaction between administrations, civil society, research and private actors. Is this happening in Gent? Is the new (digitally-enabled) participatory knowledge and policy-making model transforming the governance of Gent?

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 12.52.5429th Aug 2018, RGS- IBG Annual International Conference 2018, Cardiff University

Presentation “Much ado about nothing? A critical investigation of crowdsourcing for urban governance in Europe” in the session Publics In-formation: Re-thinking smart cities, people, and processes organised by Caspar Menkman and Aoife Delaney

Recently academics have taken notice of the limited attention paid to the role of publics in corporate and critical smart city discourses. Despite initial promises of a technologically empowered or ‘smart’ citizenry, the focus has principally been with the powerful, rational, and universal impacts of smart technologies. While these early insights have proven crucial in framing smart cities, their disregard for scholarly work that insists on technological and social complexity means they need to be amended. Therefore, for this session we invite contributions that explore the emergence of publics as (social) interfaces, associations, and borders are reconstituted with the help of smart solutions.

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8th July 2018, U4Summer School “Creating a Climate for Change” , University of Groningen

Lecture ” Think about the changes in urban governance brought about by (digital) social participation and innovation for sustainability”

imagesMay, 18th, 2018, 10am -4pm, Legambiente Nazionale, via Salaria 403

National Workshop “Disuguaglianze ambientali – disuguaglianze sociali”, Legambiente Scientific Committee

(in italian) Qual è il rapporto tra disuguaglianze ambientali e disuguaglianze sociali? Di disuguaglianze ambientali se ne è parlato abbastanza a proposito di giustizia climatica e di ecoprofughi, meno quando si è trattato di leggere gli effetti delle emergenze ambientali sui territori del mondo industrializzato, dove si è preferito parlare di “differenze territoriali”. Quello su cui oggi lamentiamo una mancanza di elaborazione concettuale e, quindi, di indicatori quantitativi, è l’insieme di relazioni tra i due fenomeni. Ovvero, quanto le disuguaglianze ambientali (in termini di inquinamento, di libertà di movimento, di accesso alla bellezza, ecc. ecc.) pesano di più sulle fasce più fragili e più povere della popolazione (perché economicamente e culturalmente meno in grado di difendersi, ad es., dagli effetti sanitari nocivi dell’inquinamento), e quanto, all’inverso, le disuguaglianze sociali creano o accentuano problemi ambientali (degrado urbano, trattamento dei rifiuti, …).

27654841_1683265868383163_33117208801665056_n21 March 2018, Luleå University of Technology, Conference Room A117 @ Sweden, Luleå 20-22 March: CSW Arctic // Europe 2018

2:50pm Presentation by Chiara Certomà: “Much Ado About Nothing? Crowdsourcing for Public Governance in the European R&I Context”

Crowdsourcing processes can impact on governance model by restructuring governance models and fuelling the integration of environmental, social and economic priorities in the city. I’m interested in understanding when and how it is adopted in Europe, and whether crowdsourcing fits with the European Commission social innovation and participatory governance strategy. The results presented show how crowdsourcing for public governance is understood in scientific research and research-led projects supported by EC; and how it is actually adopted in local, non research-led projects (supported by networks of cities, local institutions, private associations or CSOs) in Europe. Eventually, I discuss whether, and under what conditions, crowdsourcing can foster virtuous processes of urban sustainability governance via participation social innovation practice.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 10.01.104:51pm Panel discussion  “The New Network Economy – Impact Investment for a Sustainable Society”

Moderator: Kaj Embrén, CEO, CSW Europe
Panelists: Niklas Nordström, Mayor of City of Luleå, Xavier Damman, Founder, OpenCollective, Anna Chojnacka, Founder, GoodUP, Thomas Hörnfeldt, Vice President Sustainability & Public Affairs, SSAB – Swedish Steel Industry, Chiara Certoma, MSCA Researcher, Ghent University and Director of IRTA Leonardo

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Feb 2nd 2018, 9am-18am, KU Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg O&N 2, Herestraat 49, 3001 Leuven

CROWD_USG poster presentation at the 2018 MCAA General Assembly and Annual Conference

 

Photo on 11-12-2017 at 15.16Dec 11th 2017, 10am -4pm, Legambiente Nazionale, via Salaria 403

National Workshop “The challenge of green society. Participation, solidarity, volunteering, welfare, community, new enterprises, beauty, innovation, culture, rights” 

(in italian) Seminario nazionale “Le sfide della green society. Partecipazione, solidarietà, volontariato, welfare, comunità, nuova impresa, bellezza, innovazione, cultura, diritti: le parole del cambiamento”

Esiste la green society? In questi anni stiamo assistendo ad una crescita progressiva di tutti gli indicatori economici e sociali che attestano scelte ecosostenibili da parte dei cittadini e, in misura diversa, delle imprese. Ma si può parlare di un tessuto sociale coeso e di qualità, di relazioni comunitarie, di un orizzonte di valori e comportamenti che determinano innovazione sociale verso l’ecosostenibilità? Sapendo che ci troviamo di fronte ad esperienze al confine documentate nel volume Alla scoperta della green society tra aspetti ambientali e aspetti sociali, immerse nei territori, spesso carsiche, di dimensioni ridotte e disperse, cioè non coordinate da qualcosa o da qualcuno, eppure in tutte queste storie si rilancia, in modo forte e radicale, il senso della koinè.

Nov 17th 2017, MSCA Facebook page CROWD_USG presented by fellow of the week Chiara Certomà, find out more below:

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Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 10.23.48Oct 10th 2017, Lund University, Biskopsgatan 5, Lund

Papers presentation and Session organisation at Lund Conference on Earth System Governance

Earth System Governance is the largest social science research network in the area of governance and global environmental change. The Earth System Governance research alliance takes up the challenge of exploring political solutions and novel, more effective governance mechanisms to cope with the current transitions in the biogeochemical systems of the planet. The normative context of this research is sustainable development; earth system governance is not only a question of institutional effectiveness, but also of political legitimacy and social justice.

Program of interventions

This initiative will lead forward an edited volume of accessible chapters that bring together earth system governance scholarship on urban climate governance. It is now evident that urban responses to climate change involve a diverse range of actors as well as forms of agency that cross traditional boundaries, and which have diverse consequences for (dis)empowering different social groups and effects for questions of justice. Friction between novel forms of agency, new agents of change and (dis)empowerment is a missing focus in existing scholarship. This edited book addresses this knowledge gap, and raises important issues for how we understand urban climate responses. Questions that will be addressed are: What novel agents have emerged in urban climate governance since the early 1990s, and in what ways do they act? How is authority given to or taken by them, and how do they exercise agency? Who gains and who loses from a growing number of agents in urban climate governance? To what extent and how does including novel agents in urban climate governance empower them? Whether and how can (dis)empowerment in urban climate governance be studied, made visible, and challenged? The general outline of the book and the book chapters will be discussed at the 2017 Lund Conference in two sessions. These are open to all conference participants. This initiative is led by Jeroen van der Heijden (Australian National University, and Lead Author of the New Directions in Earth System Governance), Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University, Earth System Governance Lead Faculty), and Chiara Certomà (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Earth System Governance Research Fellow). Amongst the others, Fracois Mancebo and Chiara Certomà present the paper “Planning Urban Futures: Addressing the Sustainability-Justice Nexus in the Light of Urban Agriculture.”

Poster 1

September 29th, 9-11 pm, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Aula 3, Pz. Martiri della Libertà 33, Pisa

“Vuoi una città più verde? Clicca mi piace e condividi!”. Sostenibilità e partecipazione nel web interattivo

Speaker: Chiara Certomà

Interactive workshop and visual exploration of forefront experiments in web-based citizens’ participation toward greater democracy and sustainability in European cities.

The workshop is organized in the context of the EU Bright Night of Researchers 2017 in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Development – CDO, Ghent University and the Scuola Sant’Anna – Istituto Dirpolis and Istituto di Management.  

Informationa material have been realised with the support of  Marie Curie Alumni AssociationMarie Curie Alumni Association.

 

Photo on 31-08-2017 at 18.56Aug 31st 2017, 4:50 – 6:30 pm, Royal Geographical Society, Lowther Room, London

Making Injustice visible: cross-disciplinary representational techniques and processes of Spatial & Environmental Injustice and Environmental Conflicts

Session at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017

Organisation and Chairing: Chiara Certomà and Federico Martellozzo

Supported by Geographies of Justice Research Group

The section is aimed at improving the theoretical and methodological background to investigate spatial justice via a cross-disciplinary research; in particular we focus on the spatio-temporal distribution of socio-environmental conflicts, on the mix of qualitative and quantitative methods that can proficiently support environmental justice definition/recognition, and on the linkages with policy oriented research.
Since the early ‘70s the debate on spatial justice attracted a broad scholarly interest by showing how the circumstances in which different social groups live play a major role in determining their wealth, opportunity, health outcomes, educational attainment and virtually influence all aspects of life’s quality (Harvey, 1973; 1996; Lefebvre, 1991; Soja, 1989, 2010). The unequal distribution of reseources and possibilities overlaps the unequal economic and social power distribution occurring through the social body (I.M. Young 1990; Haughton, 1999). More recently, social research established that, amongst other burdens, environmental problems are not randomly distributed in space and they do affect some people more than others. The link between spatial justice and environmental issues (Homer Dixon, 1994; Agyeman 2005; Dryzek 1987) engaged scholars’ debate and fueled the disputes regarding its etiology, consequences and controversies. As Agyeman points out (2005), environmental justice has not only to be interpreted from a negative perspective but should also be seen as a proactive tool for accessing and distributing the environmental benefits necessary for sustainable societies with a high quality of life.
In order for this to happen, activists, research bodies and the academia shall attempt at providing an accurate, detailed and punctual representation of spatial&environmental injustice (e.g. http://www.politicalecology.eu/) and the related conflicts (e.g. http://www.ejolt.org/).
Nevertheless the fuzziness of theoretical definition, together with its breadth (spamming across a vast number of disciplinary fields) made it difficult to fully appreciate the multilayered and cross-scalar consequences of spatial injustice, most notably the socio-environmental conflicts. The narrative and the representation of spatial&environmental injustices and subsequent conflicts through geographic, qualitative and quantitative data (which can prove to be reliable, scientifically accurate and complete) is of capital importance for a full consideration in both academic debate, and in decision support system and policy-making processes.

screen-shot-2017-06-06-at-10-54-03-amJune 15th, 2.30 pm, CDO, Seminar Room, Poel 16, 9000, Ghent

CROWD_USG. Crowdsourcing urban sustainability governance. Open initial seminar

Speaker: Chiara Certomà

CROWD_USG is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research project exploring how ICT-people interactions are transforming the governance of urban sustainability.  Cities are increasingly depicted as the appropriate loci for tackling with a number of interrelated and complex issues – ranging from protecting the environment, to incubating innovation and granting social justice. The socio-technological networks, which progressively emerged for addressing the related tasks, are now significantly changing the traditional forms of urban governance. In these contexts, technologies are often presented as both facilitators and drivers of changes. Nevertheless, the assumption that broadening technological access will lead to people’s empowerment and make participation effective is questionable.CROWD_USG project investigates under what conditions crowdsourcing (i.e. any open call format toward collective solution seeking by a large network of users) can actually turn governance processes into open and shared opportunities for advancing socio-environmental sustainability in the city. This seminar  presents the background, motivations, scope and expected results of the project, by exploring current scientific production and forefront applications of participatory ICTs toward urban sustainability. Theoretical and methodological approach are  open for discussion with colleagues, in reference to the case of Ghent.

Event on CORDIS

Event on MCAA and on MCAA calendar

Event on DG Research&Innovation

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 10.05.23Jun 8th 2017,  Scuola di Lettere Filosofia Lingue, Università Roma Tre, Via Ostiense 234-236, Roma

Giustizia spaziale, conflitti ambientali e loro rappresentazione

Session at XXXII Congresso Geografico Italiano

Organisation and Chairing: Chiara Certomà and Federico Martellozzo. La sessione si concentra sull’analisi del contesto teorico e metodologico per l’analisi della teoria della giustizia spaziale; in particolare vuole offrire un momento di riflessione condivisa sulla distribuzione spazio-temporale dei conflitti socio-ecologici, e sulle metodologie quali-quantitative che possono essere utilizzate per la definizione e l’osservazione di fenomeni di ingiustizia spaziale e con la ricerca sulle politiche volte alla loro risoluzione.


News and press releases

(17/12/2018) CROWD_USG videos on AGEI – Association of Italian Geographers website

(7-9/02/2018) Chiara Certomà is respondent at the U&U – 9th edition of the PhD Seminar in Urbanism & Urbanization, Gent University, Department of Architecture & Urban Planning. Visual impressions of the event available here U&U-PhD Seminar

(17/11/2017) CROWD_USG is the project of the week on Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions facebook page

(25/10/2017) CROWD_USG special guest at Gert Pauwels’ presentation “Voordracgt: Hoe SMART zijn we in Gent?” hosted by Digitale Week in Gent

(6/9/2017) Chiara Certomà joined the COST Action CA15212 Citizen Science

(4/7/2017) CROWD_USG is now an affiliated project at the Earth System Governance Project; Posted on Earth System Governance

(15/6/2017); CROWD_USG included in “De Commons in Gent” mapping project; Posted on gentCommonsWiki

(25/5/2017); CROWD_USG entered the Digital Social Innovation network; Posted on Digital Social Innovation.

1. Official documents

2. Scientific references

2a. (Urban) Sustainability

2.b Participatory processes

2.c Digital cities

  • KAIKA, M., and SWYNGEDOUW, E., (2000). Fetishizing the modern city: the phantasmagoria of urban technological networks. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Issue 24(1), pages 120-138.
  • KITCHIN, R., (2011). The Programmable City. Environment and Planning B, Issue 38, pages 945-951.
  • GREENFIELD, A., (2013). Against the Smart City. Do Projects, New York.
  • SÖDESTRÖM O., et al., (2014). Smart cities as corporate storytelling. City, Issue 18/3, pages 307-320.
  • AGYEMANM, J., (2015). Sharing Cities: a case for truly smart and sustainable cities. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • CERTOMÀ, C., DYER, M., POCATILU, L., RIZZI, F., (eds.), (2017). Citizen Empowerment and Innovation in the Data-Rich City. Springer.

2b. ICTs and Crowdsourcing for governance

  • HOWE, J., (2006). The rise of crowdsourcing. Wired, Issue 14/6.
  • ALBORSA, J., RAMOSB, J. C., HERVASA, J. L. (2008). New learning network paradigms: Communities of objectives, crowdsourcing, wikis and open source. International Journal of Information Management, Vol. 28, pages 194–202.
  • BRABHAM, D.C., (2008). Crowdsourcing as a model for problem solving an introduction and cases. Convergence, Issue 14/1, pages 75-90.
  • SHIRKY, C., (2008). Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. Penguin Press, London.
  • BRABHAM, D. C. (2009). Crowdsourcing the Public Participation Process for Planning Projects. Planning Theory, Vol. 8, Issue 3, pages 242–262.
  • SHAH, N., DHANESH, A., SEETHARAM, D., Case Study: Crowdsourcing for e-Governance, ICEGOV2009, pages 253-258.
  • ERICKSON, T., (2010). Geocentric Crowdsourcing and Smarter Cities: Enabling Urban Intelligence in Cities and Regions, 1st International workshop on ubiquitous crowdsourcing, Copenhagen, DK.
  • JAIN, R., (2010). Investigation of Governance Mechanisms for Crowdsourcing Initiatives, AMCIS 2010 Proceedings, Paper 557.
  • ARUP, (2011) Smart Cities: Transforming the 21st City Via the Creative Use of Technology. Arup, London.
  • ESTELLÉS-AROLAS, E., GONZÁLEZ-LADRÓN-DE-GUEVARA, F., (2012). Towards an integrated crowdsourcing definition. Journal of Information Science, Issue 38, pages 189–200.
  • SCHUURMAN, D., BACCARNE, B., DE MAREZ, L., MECHANT, P., (2012). Smart Ideas for Smart Cities: Investigating Crowdsourcing for Generating and Selecting Ideas for ICT Innovation in a City Context, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, Vol. 7, Issue 3, pages 49-62.
  • BRABHAM, D.C., (2013). Crowdsourcing. MIT Press.
  • BRABHAM, D.C., (2013). The four urban governance problem types suitable for crowdsourcing citizen participation. In BRABHAM, D.C. (ed.) Citizen E-Participation in Urban Governance: Crowdsourcing and Collaborative.
  • KOMNINOS, N., PALLOT, M., SCHAFFERS, H., (2013). Special Issue on Smart Cities and the Future Internet in Europe, Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Issue 4, pages 119-134.
  • KITCHIN, R., (2014). The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism. GeoJournal, Issue 79, pages 1–14.
  • MOTTA, G., YOU, L., SACCO, D., MA, T., (2014). City Feed: a Crowdsourcing System for City Governance, IEEE 8th International Symposium on Service Oriented System Engineering, pages 439-445.
  • CERTOMÀ, C.,  CORSINI, F., RIZZI, F. (2015).  Crowdsourcing urban sustainability. Data, people and technologies in participatory governance, Futures, 74. Slideshow available here.
  • CERTOMÀ, C., RIZZI, F., (2015). Smart cities for smart citizens: Enabling urban transitions through crowdsourcing. On Ugec Viewpoints, August 19.
  • SHELTON T., et al., (2015). The ‘actually existing smart city’. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Issue 8/1, pages 13-25.
  • ZOGAJ, S., LEICHT, N., BLOHM, I., BRETSCHNEIDER, U., (2015). Towards Successful Crowdsourcing Projects: Evaluating the Implementation of Governance Mechanisms, ICIS 2015 Proceedings.
  • MEIJER, A., RODRIGUEZ BOLIVAR, M. P., (2016). Governing the smart city: a review of the literature on smart urban governance, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Vol. 82(2), pages 392–408.
  • CERTOMÀ, C., RIZZI, F., (2017) “Crowdsourcing process for citizen-driven governance ” in CERTOMÀ, C., DYER, M., POCATILU, L., RIZZI, F., (eds.), (2017). Citizen Empowerment and Innovation in the Data-Rich City. Springer.
  • Afuah, A., & Tucci, C. L. (2012) Crowdsourcing as a solution to distant search. Academy of Management Review, 3/3, 355–375.
  • Aitamurto T. (2012) Crowdsourcing for Democracy: A New Era in Policy-Making, Publication of the Committee for the Future | 1/2012 available at https://cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu/publications/crowdsourcing_for_democracy_new_era_in_policymaking
  • Bott, M., & Young, G. (2012). The role of crowdsourcing for better governance in international development. J. Hum. Secur., 27, 44–56.
  • Schenk, E, Guittard C. (2009) Crowdsourcing: what can be outsourced to the crowd, and why? Technical Report. Available at: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00439256/
  • Schuurman D, Baccarne B, De Marez L and Mechant P (2012) Smart ideas for smart cities: Investigating crowdsourcing for generating and selecting ideas for ICT innovation in a city context. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research 7(3): 49–62

2c. Digital Social Innovation

3. Projects

Sustainability-focused crowdsourcing projects funded by the EU FP7 and H2020 programme:

 

EU-funded CAPS projects using crowdsourcing for sustainability governance

CAPS projects Description
DECARBONET Focuses on carbon reduction strategy definition at a global level by producing a collective knowledge repository enriched by contents from the news and social media.
IA4SI Develops a methodology to assess the socio-economic and political impacts of CAPS initiatives in terms of real potential impact (Self-Assessment Toolkit).
P2PVALUE Develops a new and increasingly significant model of social innovation based on collaborative production by citizens through the Internet.
D-CENT Creates digital tools for communities to share data, collaborate and organize their operations.
CAP4ACCESS The project is aimed at producing maps of accessibility in European cities in the MyAccessible.EU site.
CATALYST Develops collective intelligence tools and make them available, as open source solutions, to social innovation communities for managing complex and unstructured debate in social media environment toward a structured set of ideas

Tools

  1. …to introduce CROWD_USG idea

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Video of the presentation

 

Slides presentation

  • CROWD_USG in a nutshell, presentation at Bright Night of Researcher, 29th September 2017, Pisa

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Download high resolution posters here:

Poster 1

Poster 2

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaNcdIHSEoQ

2. …to explore crowdsourcing for governance

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 16.43.26Overview of crowdsourcing for public governance (own elaboration)

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 6.21.16 PMTrends in crowdsourcing research (Certomà, Corsini, Rizzi, 2015)

 

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CROWD_USG field of exploration: the intersection betwee crowdsourcing for governance, sustainability and urban context (own elaboration)

 

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Crowdsourcing processes and tools for urban governance (own elaboration)

Presentation by Chiara Certomà “Crowdsourcing for public governace in the European R&I context” at the Crowdsourcing Week Conference, Lulea, 21 March 2018

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UGent Urban Academy, 29th of May 2019

Dowload here the flyer_of  CROWD_USG final seminar

 

3. …to use crowdsourcing for urban sustainability governance

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 16.54.51Urban sustainability requirements and crowdsourcing (Certomà, Corsini, Rizzi, 2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWsZDsrr2kk

Crowdsourcing for public governance. Toward spontaneous smartness.

A critical analysis and guide for implementation by Chiara Certomà based on:

 

4. …to teach digital social participation for sustainability

From U4 Summer School “Climate for Change”

Think about the changes in urban governance brought about by (digital) social participation and innovation for sustainability

The strategy of European Commission for reaching the goals of a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth explained that fostering better conditions of life is a participatory goal as it cannot be reached just working for the citizens but only with the citizens. Digital technologies already allowed many citizens to enter public debate and reshape the traditional undestanding of inclusiveness, accessibility, equality, sustainability and democracy. As a consequence, social participation and innovation produce a new model of urban governance for jointly addressing social and environmental challenges. It is apparent that new governance model questions the conventional interaction routines between institutions, researches and civil society actors. Nevertheless the changes in the urban governance processes induced by (digital) social participation and innovation processes are still under investigation.

Ghent recently emerged as a dynamic and innovation-oriented city, experimenting original solutions in public participation for sustainability governance, and aiming at pioneering green-infrastructure development, ethical and sustainable consumption and business models, ecosystem services valuing, and social cohesion and participation (e.g. Gent Climate Plan 2008-2020; EU Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans; REGent; Ghent Bio-Economy Valley; UGent Sustainable Energy Technologies – SET) via sustainable bottom-up initiatives (Devolder, Block 2015). Both online and offline participation is strongly supported by Gent administration toward the creation of a City of People where open data portal, online partipatory platform, participatory budgeting and living labs are already used to invent solutions for citizens-defined priorities (City of People). Most of these projects in Gent can be accessed  here: https://crowdusg.net/2018/03/02/ghent/

Question and research

You are asked to reflect on how and whether online and offline social participation and innovation processes can transform the urban governance; what opportunities, problems, consequences emerge? What actors can be empowered or excluded? What kind of problems might be prioritized and what kind of means for addressing them will be privileged? What structural changes will occur? What are the social, environmental or economic consequences of these changes you can foresee (problems, difficulties, opportunities, new perspectives)?

To this end, you can carefully consider the city policy about digital social innovation and digital participation with reviewing existing facts and figures, policy statements and regulations (REF Alberto); and check whether and how these has been implemented in real cases i.e. in actually ongoing processes of social participation and innovation in Gent.  You can find useful resources (https://crowdusg.net/2018/03/02/resources/) and tools (https://crowdusg.net/2018/03/02/tools/) on CROWD_USG project web site, but you are invited to complement these with further results from your own research.

 

Results

 Outreach activities

Download the final CROWD_USG project pack !

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  • Scenario Building of Crowdsourcing Urban Sustainbility Governance Screen Shot 2019-05-24 at 17.01.37Download the TAVOLA_digitale

 

  • A booklet on policy recommendations and guide for action

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Download the high-resolution booklet completo

 

  • Sustainability, Technology and Participation. Interviews in Gent – CROWD_USG. A few minutes video-resume of the interviews conducted in Ghent to key-informants on using digital participation technologies and processes for urban sustainability governance.

  • Assemble, mobilise, impact! Gentenaars’way to (digital) social innovation, 25th Nov 2018, presentation at the Dag van de Wetenshp, MIAT, Gent

  • Results of the interviews about technology-aided participatory processes for sustainability

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download here the Progetto – Disegno 1_8

 

 

Students’ presentation on Ghent case downloadable here: Ghent Case (authors: Abe Hendriks, Petra Meelker, Matthieu Warnier, Violet Oloibiri, Catlin Lhoest)

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Booklet Collaborative Urbanism Conference


Scientific publications, reports and  documents

Research outputs are made publicly available via self-archiving (green open access) at Ghent University publication database andChiara Certomà ResearchGate page.

  • Corsini, C.Certomà and M.Dyer (2018) “Participatory Energy: research, imaginaries and practices on people’ contribute to energy systems in the smart city”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change
  • Tornaghi C. and Certomà C. (eds) (2018) Urban Gardening as Politics, Routledge, London
  • Certomà C. and C. Tornaghi (2018) “Politics and the contested terrain of urban gardening in the neoliberal city” in C. Tornaghi and C.Certomà (forth.) “Urban Gardening as Politics”, Routledge, London
  • Certomà C. (2018) “A practice-based approach to political gardening. Materiality, performativity and post-environmentalism” in C. Tornaghi and C.Certomà (forth.) “Urban Gardening as Politics”, Routledge, London
  • C. Tornaghi and Certomà C. (2018) “Political gardening, equity and justice: a research agenda” in C. Tornaghi and C.Certomà (forth.) “Urban Gardening as Politics”, Routledge, London
  • Certomà and F. Martellozzo (forth.) “The spatial distribution of Urban Gardening and Spatial Injustice. In between social-economic and environmental determinants” in Atti del Congresso Geografico Italiano
  • Certomà and F. Martellozzo (eds.) (forth.) “Introduction” and editing of section “Giustizia spaziale, conflitti ambientali e loro rappresentazione” in Atti del Congresso Geografico Italiano
  • Frey and C.Certomà (2018) “Processi co-generativi di pianificazione e governance delle infrastrutture verdi. Il caso dell’ex-Snia Viscosa a Roma”, Urbanistica Informazioni vol.273-4, p.47
  • Muroni, I. Conti, D.Ducato, C.Certomà (2017) “La green society tra innovazione sociale e partecipazione” (collective interview), in V. Cogliati (ed.) Alla ricerca della Green Society, EdizioniAmbiente, Milano, 201
  • Dyer, F.Corsini and C.Certomà (2017) “Making urban governance, planning and design a participatory goal. A collaborative urbanism agenda”, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Urban Design and Planning, 170 (4), available here
  • EU Charter Collaborative Urbanism (2017), COST Action TU1204

Network building

Worldwide scholars, institutions and research centers interested in participatory urbanism, urban sustainability and ICT for democracy issues are invited to join the CROWD_USG network. The network is a virtual context for regular circulating information via our mailing list, being updates about projects and cognate initiatives and collaborate on prospective research projects. Ghent-based initiatives are listed on the dedicated page.

Join the network!

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Werelwijd zijn academici, instellingen en onderzoekscentra geïnteresseerd in participatieve stedenbouw, stedelijke duurzaamheid en ICT voor democratische kwesties. Ze maken nu al deel uit van het CROWD_USG netwerk. Het is een virtuele context voor het regelmatig laten circuleren van informatie, via een mailing lijst, met updates over de projecten en initiatieven en/of via de CROWD_USG nieuwsbrief. In het kader van dat netwerken worden collega’s uitgenodigd om samen te werken aan tal van onderzoeksprojecten.

Kom bij het netwerk!

 


Institutions/Labs/Projects

Crowdsourcing for urban governance

Sustainability and the city

Collaborative cities

Research and innovation