Digital and multi-channel citizen participation in Germany: A comprehensive overview of patterns, methods and determinants

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.2170

Keywords:

Citizen participation, digital participation, spatial planning, spatial development

Abstract

Citizen participation has played an increasingly relevant role in spatial planning and development aiming to shape sustainable and innovative processes since the 1970s. Nevertheless, analogue participation is associated with various problems, such as social selectivity and a loss of civic trust in administration and politics. Against this background, high expectations lie in the development of digital participation formats, which have significantly changed the participation landscape. Despite the rapid development of digital participation based on new technologies and external factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic, there is still a lack of comprehensive empirical studies on spatial patterns and determinants. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to give an overview of the patterns, methods and determinants of digital and multi-channel participation in Germany. We comprehensively investigated digital and multi-channel participation processes on the websites of German cities and districts – about 4,000 approaches in total. The results show spatial disparities in digital participation processes. While the availability of broadband internet and public debt do not significantly influence the digital participation density in districts and cities, low election turnouts go along with high densities. This suggests that the administrations are responding to political disinterest with digital participation. The results also indicate that digital participation can be less socially selective, as high shares of population without German citizenship, high migration rates and low employment rates have significant positive effects on digital participation.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Akmentina, L. (2023): E‑participation and engagement in urban planning: experiences from the Baltic cities. In: Urban Research and Practice 16, 4, 624–657. https://doi.org/10.1080/17535069.2022.2068965

Al-Dalou, R.; Abu-Shanab, E. (2013): E‑Participation levels and technologies. http://icit.zuj.edu.jo/icit13/Papers%20list/Camera_ready/E-Technology/656.pdf (28.11.2023).

Amado, M.P.; Santos, C.V.; Moura, E.B.; Silva, V.G. (2010): Public Participation in Sustainable Urban Planning. In: International Journal of Human and Social Sciences 5, 2, 102–108.

Antoniou, V.; Potsiou, C. (2021): Design and development of geographic citizen science: technological perspectives and considerations. In: Skarlatidou, A.; Haklay, M. (eds.): Geographic citizen science design: No one left behind. London, 38–54.

Arnstein, S.R. (1969): A Ladder of Citizen Participation. In: Journal of the American Institute of Planners 35, 4, 216–224. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944366908977225

Bastos, D.; Fernández-Caballero, A.; Pereira, A.; Rocha, N.P. (2022): Smart City Applications to Promote Citizen Participation in City Management and Governance: A Systematic Review. In: Informatics 9, 4, 1–29. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics9040089

BBSR – Bundesinstitut für Bau‑, Stadt- und Raumforschung (2015): Raumgliederungen auf Kreisbasis. Raumtypen: Lage. https://www.bbsr.bund.de/BBSR/DE/forschung/raumbeobachtung/downloads/downloadsReferenz2.html (22.05.2023).

BBSR – Bundesinstitut für Bau‑, Stadt- und Raumforschung (2021): INKAR (Indikatoren und Karten zur Raum- und Stadtentwicklung). Bonn.

BBSR – Bundesinstitut für Bau‑, Stadt- und Raumforschung (2023): Laufende Raumbeobachtung – Raumabgrenzungen. https://www.bbsr.bund.de/BBSR/DE/forschung/raumbeobachtung/Raumabgrenzungen/deutschland/kreise/siedlungsstrukturelle-kreistypen/kreistypen.html;jsessionid=AE2B9B5CE0B6DE312F455327A9C0EC42.live21322 (22.05.2023).

Brake, A. (2008): Internetbasierte Befragung – ein Instrument für den Weg in eine aktive Bürgergesellschaft? In: Kersting, N. (ed.): Politische Beteiligung: Einführung in dialogorientierte Instrumente politischer und gesellschaftlicher Partizipation. Wiesbaden, 65–79. = Bürgergesellschaft und Demokratie 28. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-531-91071-0_3

Caddy, J. (2005): Evaluating public participation in policy-making. Paris

Carvajal Bermúdez, J.C. (2022): New methods of citizen participation based on digital technologies. Dissertation, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. https://doi.org/10.25643/bauhaus-universitaet.4712

Damurski, L. (2012): E‑Participation in Urban Planning. Online Tools for Citizen Engagement in Poland and in Germany. In: International Journal of E‑Planning Research 1, 3, 40–67. https://doi.org/10.4018/ijepr.2012070103

Dean, R.J. (2018): Counter-Governance: Citizen Participation Beyond Collaboration. In: Politics and Governance 6, 1, 180–188. https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v6i1.1221

Die Bundeswahlleiterin (2022): Bundestagswahl 2021. Ergebnisse nach kreisfreien Städten und Landkreisen. https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/bundestagswahlen/2021/ergebnisse/weitere-ergebnisse.html (22.05.2023).

Donders, M.; Hartmann, T.; Kokx, A. (2014): E‑Participation in Urban Planning: Getting and Keeping Citizens Involved. In: International Journal of E‑Planning Research 3, 2, 54–69. https://doi.org/10.4018/ijepr.2014040104

Ertiö, T.-P. (2015): Participatory Apps for Urban Planning – Space for Improvement. In: Planning Practice and Research 30, 3, 303–321. https://doi.org/10.1080/02697459.2015.1052942

Evans-Cowley, J.; Hollander, J. (2010): The New Generation of Public Participation: Internet-based Participation Tools. In: Planning Practice and Research 25, 3, 397–408. https://doi.org/10.1080/02697459.2010.503432

Fathejalali, A.; Jain, A. (2019): Mobile participation (mParticipation) in urban development: The experience of FlashPoll app in Berlin (Germany). In: Information Polity 24, 2, 199–222. https://doi.org/10.3233/IP-180096

Freschi, A.C.; Rony, M.; Norbjerg, J. (2009): eParticipation in the institutional domain: a review of research: analytical report on eParticipation research from an administration and political perspective in six European countries. Bergamo.

Graziano, T. (2020): Citizen e‑Participation in Urban Planning: Achievements and Future Challenges in a Mediterranean City. In: Khosrow-Pour, M. (ed.): Megacities and Rapid Urbanization: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice. Hershey, 582–600. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-9276-1

Hanninger, L.-M. (2023): Status quo der digitalen Transformation in niederbayerischen Kommunen. In: Ahrens, D. (ed.): Smart Region: Angewandte digitale Lösungen für den ländlichen Raum: Best Practices aus den Modellprojekten „Digitales Dorf Bayern“. Wiesbaden, 81–103. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-38236-0_6

Hayes, A.F.; Cai, L. (2007): Using heteroscedasticity-consistent standard error estimators in OLS regression: An introduction and software implementation. In: Behavior Research Methods 39, 4, 709–722. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03192961

Holtkamp, L.; Bathge, T. (2012): Lokale Bürgerbeteiligung in der Haushaltskrise. In: Der moderne Staat. Zeitschrift für Public Policy, Recht und Management 5, 1, 47–64. https://doi.org/10.3224/dms.v5i1.04

Hovik, S.; Giannoumis, G.A. (2022): Linkages Between Citizen Participation, Digital Technology, and Urban Development. In: Hovik, S.; Giannoumis, G.A.; Reichborn-Kjennerud, K.; Ruano, J.M.; McShane, I.; Legard, S. (eds.): Citizen Participation in the Information Society: Comparing Participatory Channels in Urban Development. Cham, 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99940-7_1

Jiang, H.; Geertman, S.; Witte, P. (2019): Smart urban governance: An urgent symbiosis? In: Information Polity 24, 3, 245–269. https://doi.org/10.3233/IP-190130

Kaczorowski, W. (2014): Die smarte Stadt – Den digitalen Wandel intelligent gestalten. Handlungsfelder, Herausforderungen, Strategien. Stuttgart. https://doi.org/10.5771/9783415052178

Kang, M. (2014): Understanding Public Engagement: Conceptualizing and Measuring its Influence on Supportive Behavioral Intentions. In: Journal of Public Relations Research 26, 5, 399–416. https://doi.org/10.1080/1062726X.2014.956107

Kubicek, H.; Aichholzer, G. (2016): Closing the Evaluation Gap in e‑Participation Research and Practice. In: Aichholzer, G.; Kubicek, H.; Torres, L. (eds.): Evaluating e‑Participation: Frameworks, Practice, Evidence. Cham, 11–45. = Public Administration and Information Technology 19. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-25403-6_2

Lahode, C.; Schaumann, E. (2022): Cooperative Planning Strategies in Urban Development Processes. In: Coors, V.; Pietruschka, D.; Zeitler, B. (eds.): iCity. Transformative Research for the Livable, Intelligent, and Sustainable City. Cham, 283–293. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-92096-8_18

Lebezova, E.M.; Ovcharenko, L.A. (2022): A model of citizens’ digital participation in the Smart Environment. In: Journal of New Economy 23, 3, 62–85. https://doi.org/10.29141/2658-5081-2022-23-3-4

Legard, S.; Hovik, S. (2022): The Impact of Digital Participation on Democratic Urban Governance. In: Hovik, S.; Giannoumis, G.A.; Reichborn-Kjennerud, K.; Ruando, J.M.; McShane, I.; Legard, S. (eds.): Citizen Participation in the Information Society: Comparing Participatory Channels in Urban Development. Cham, 167–190. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99940-7_8

Macintosh, A. (2004): Characterizing E‑Participation in Policy-Making. In: Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2004.1265300

Mandarano, L.A.; Meenar, M. (2015): e‑Participation: Comparing Trends in Practice and the Classroom. In: Planning Practice and Research 30, 4, 457–475. https://doi.org/10.1080/02697459.2015.1017933

Martini, M.; Fritzsche, S. (2015): E‑Participation in Germany: New Forms of Citizen Involvement between Vision and Reality. In: Fraenkel-Haeberle, C.; Kropp, S.; Palermo, F.; Sommermann, K.-P. (eds.): Citizen Participation in Multi-level Democracies. Leiden, 121–160. = Studies in Territorial and Cultural Diversity Governance.

Mello Rose, F. (2022): Civil Society Involvement in Smart Cities. Citizen Participation or User Co-Creation? Dissertation, HafenCity Universität Hamburg.

Meschede, C. (2020): Urban Governance for Sustainable Development: Information Dissemination, Open Data, and Citizen Participation. Dissertation. Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf.

Morais, M. (2022): Citizen Participation in Urban Policy: Lessons Based on Berlin and Sao Paulo Experiences. Berlin. = WZB Discussion Paper SP V 2022-101.

Muehlhaus, S.L.; Eghtebas, C.; Seifert, N.; Schubert, G.; Petzold, F.; Klinker, G. (2023): Game.UP: Gamified Urban Planning Participation Enhancing Exploration, Motivation, and Interactions. In: International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 39, 2, 331–347. https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2021.2012379

Münster, S.; Georgi, C.; Heijne, K.; Klamert, K.; Noennig, J.R.; Pump, M.; Stelzle, B.; van der Meer, H. (2017): How to involve inhabitants in urban design planning by using digital tools? An overview on a state of the art, key challenges and promising approaches. In: Procedia Computer Science 112, 2391–2405. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2017.08.102

Neumann, M.; Linder, F.; Desmarais, B. (2022): Government websites as data: a methodological pipeline with application to the websites of municipalities in the United States. In: Journal of Information Technology and Politics 19, 4, 411–422. https://doi.org/10.1080/19331681.2021.1999880

Novy, J.; Peters, D. (2012): Railway Station Mega-Projects as Public Controversies: The Case of Stuttgart 21. In: Built Environment 38, 1, 128–145.

Nyseth, T.; Ringholm, T.; Agger, A. (2019): Innovative Forms of Citizen Participation at the Fringe of the Formal Planning System. In: Urban Planning 4, 1, 7–18. https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v4i1.1680

Sierra, R.; Ott, K. (2022): Citizen participation in the long-term process of high-level radioactive waste disposal: Future tasks and adequate forms of participation. In: TATuP – Zeitschrift für Techikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis 31, 3, 44–50. https://doi.org/10.14512/tatup.31.3.44.

Silva, C.N. (2020): Introduction: Smart Digital Technologies and the ‘Ladder’ of Citizen-Responsive Urban E‑Planning. In: Silva, C.N. (ed.): Citizen-Responsive Urban E‑Planning: Recent Developments and Critical Perspectives. Hershey, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-4018-3.ch001

Sippel, H.-J. (2015): Auf dem Weg zu einer (neuen) politischen Kultur der Beteiligung. In: Sommer, J. (ed.): Kursbuch Bürgerbeteiligung 1. Berlin, 22–47.

Sobaci, M.Z. (2016): Social Media and Local Governments: An Overview. In: Sobaci, M.Z. (ed.): Social Media and Local Governments: Theory and Practice. Cham, 3–21. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17722-9_1

Stein, V.; Pentzold, C.; Peter, S.; Sterly, S. (2022): Digitalization and Civic Participation in Rural Areas. A Systematic Review of Scientific Journals, 2010-2020. In: Raumforschung und Raumordnung | Spatial Research and Planning 80, 3, 251–265. https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.112

Stelzle, B.; Naumann, F.; Holmer, T.; Jannack, A.; Noennig, J.R. (2020): A minimal viable process and tools for massive participation in urban development. In: International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development 11, 1, 80–97. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJKBD.2020.106839

Taylor, N. (2012): Urban Planning Theory since 1945. London.

Turken, A.O.; Eyuboglu, E.E. (2021): E‑participatory Approaches in Urban Design. In: Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs 5, 2, 169–182. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2021.v5n2-2

Walk, H. (2008): Partizipative Governance. Beteiligungsformen und Beteiligungsrechte im Mehrebenensystem der Klimapolitik. Wiesbaden. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-531-90803-8

Wiktorska-Swiecka, A. (2023): Towards a New Normal in Participatory Governance in Berlin during COVID-19. A “Lost Year” or a “New Beginning”? In: Lissandrello, E.; Sorensen, J.; Olesen, K.; Steffansen, R.N. (eds.): The ‘New Normal’ in Planning, Governance and Participation: Transforming Urban Governance in a Post-Pandemic World. Cham, 217–228. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-32664-6_17

Wirtz, B.W.; Kubin, P.R.M. (2021): E‑Government in Deutschland: Entwicklung, Barrieren und Verbesserungsansätze. In: Verwaltung und Management 27, 6, 285–294. https://doi.org/10.5771/0947-9856-2021-6

Published

Issue publication date 2024-06-28 (version 2)
Published online first 2024-02-09 (version 1)

Versions

Issue

Section

Research Article

How to Cite

1.
Karic S, Heissler J, Althaus M-C. Digital and multi-channel citizen participation in Germany: A comprehensive overview of patterns, methods and determinants. RuR [Internet]. 2024 Jun. 28 [cited 2024 Jul. 23];82(3):215-30. Available from: https://rur.oekom.de/index.php/rur/article/view/2170

Funding data

Share