Urbani izziv Volume 29, No. supplement, September 2018
University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Landscape Architecture
Interactive tangible planning support systems and politics of public participation
The complexity of the contemporary city stems from the numerous positions of its interpretation. The two most relevant to this paper are the augmentations of cities through digital technology and the ever-more-present participation requirement in the urban planning process. On one hand, digital technologies are promising efficient running of cities and better decision-making through a larger volume and better detail of information. On the other hand, the participatory agenda suggests a more levelled playing field for different stakeholders and a wider consensus. Both positions have limits—the first in the myriad of data produced that makes the digital city unreadable to the public and decision-makers without the help of specialized professionals, and the second in forming and keeping a consensus between stakeholders in the planning process. This paper explores how these limits can be addressed. Recently, interactive tangible planning support systems (PSSs) have been promoted to improve the established urban planning and participation methodologies. They promise to make digital spatial data more accessible in the decision-making process and to establish a better consensus amongst stakeholders. This paper will compare two examples of the interactive tangible PSSs in order to illuminate how the interactive environments increase the usability of professional spatial information on one hand and how they contribute toward consensus-making on the other.
interactive tangible planning support systems, public participation, planning process, politics