Engaging Communities in Urban Planning
The article “Augmented Deliberation: Merging Physical and Virtual Interaction to Engage Communities in Urban Planning” from Engagement Game Lab introduces the concept of augmented deliberation and demonstrates its implementation in a pilot project.
The authors look specifically at a project called Hub2. This community engagement project employed the online virtual world Second Life to augment community deliberation in the planning of a neighborhood park in Boston, Massachusetts. The local community was invited to gather in a physical space and a virtual space simultaneously, and a physical moderator and virtual designer orchestrated deliberation. This project demonstrates the design values central to augmented deliberation: (1) it is a multimedia group communication process which balances the specific affordances of digital technologies with the established qualities of face-to-face group deliberation; (2) it emphasizes the power of experience; and (3) it promotes sustainability and reproducibility through digital tracking. Augmented deliberation, when properly designed, provides a powerful mechanism to enable productive and meaningful public deliberation. The article concludes with directions for further research.
Gordon, E. & Manosevitch, E. (2010) “Augmented Deliberation: Merging Physical and Virtual Interaction to Engage Communities in Urban Planning” New Media & Society.