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Khan, Zaheer; Dambruch, Jens; Peters-Anders, Jan; Sackl, Andreas; Strasser, Anton; Fröhlich, Peter; Templer, Simon; Soomro, Kamran

Developing Knowledge-Based Citizen Participation Platform to Support Smart City Decision Making: The Smarticipate Case Study


Information, Vol.8 (2017), 2, 24 p.

Citizen participation for social innovation and co-creating urban regeneration proposals can be greatly facilitated by innovative IT systems. Such systems can use Open Government Data, visualise urban proposals in 3D models and provide automated feedback on the feasibility of the proposals. Using such a system as a communication platform between citizens and city administrations provides an integrated top-down and bottom-up urban planning and decision-making approach to smart cities. However, generating automated feedback on citizens' proposals requires modelling domain-specific knowledge i.e., vocabulary and rules, which can be applied on spatial and temporal 3D models. This paper presents the European Commission funded H2020 smarticipate project that aims to achieve the above challenge by applying it on three smart cities: Hamburg, Rome and RBKC-London. Whilst the proposed system architecture indicates various innovative features, a proof of concept of the automated feedback feature for the Hamburg use case 'planting trees' is demonstrated. Early results and lessons learned show that it is feasible to provide automated feedback on citizen-initiated proposals on specific topics. However, it is not straightforward to generalise this feature to cover more complex concepts and conditions which require specifying comprehensive domain languages, rules and appropriate tools to process them. This paper also highlights the strengths of the smarticipate platform, discusses challenges to realise its different features and suggests potential solutions.

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Malewski, Christian; Dambruch, Jens; Krämer, Michel

Towards Interactive Geodata Analysis through a Combination of Domain-Specific Languages and 3D Geo Applications in a Web Portal Environment


Schrenk, Manfred (Ed.) et al.: REAL CORP 2015. Plan Together - Right now - Overall : From Vision to Reality for Vibrant Cities and Regions. Wien: CORP, 2015, pp. 609-616

International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society <20, 2015, Ghent, Belgium>

Urban planning processes affect a wide range of stakeholders including decision makers, urban planners, business companies as well as citizens. ICT-enabled tools supporting urban planning are considered key to successful and sustainable urban management. Based on previous work in the areas of web-based participation tools for urban planning, rule-based geospatial processing as well as 3D virtual reality applications we present a tool that supports experts from municipalities in planning and decision making but also provides a way for the public to engage in urban planning processes. The main contribution of this work is in the combination of 3D visualization and interaction components with a new ontology-driven rule editor based on domain-specific languages. The 3D visualization, on the one hand, enables stakeholders to present and discuss urban plans. On the other hand, the rule editor particularly targets expert users who need to perform spatial analyses on urban data or want to configure the 3D scene according to custom rules. Compared to previous approaches we propose a portable and interactive solution. Our tool is web-based and uses HTML5 technology making it accessible by a broad audience.

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Ruppert, Tobias; Dambruch, Jens; Krämer, Michel; Balke, Tina; Gavanelli, Marco; Bragaglia, Stefano; Chesani, Federico; Milano, Michela; Kohlhammer, Jörn

Visual Decision Support for Policy Making: Advancing Policy Analysis with Visualization


Janssen, Marijn (Ed.) et al.: Policy Practice and Digital Science : Integrating Complex Systems, Social Simulation and Public Administration in Policy Research. Springer International Publishing, 2015. (Public Administration and Information Technology 10), pp. 321-353

Today's politicians are confronted with new information technologies to tackle complex decision-making problems. In order to make sustainable decisions, a profound analysis of societal problems and possible solutions (policy options) needs to be performed. In this policy-analysis process, different stakeholders are involved. Besides internal direct advisors of the policy makers (policy analysts), external experts from different scientific disciplines can support evidence-based decision making. Despite the alleged importance of scientific advice in the policy-making process, it is observed that scientific results are often not used. In this work, a concept is described that supports the collaboration between scientists and politicians. We propose a science-policy interface that is realized by including information visualization in the policy-analysis process. Therefore, we identify synergy effects between both fields and introduce a methodology for addressing the current challenges of science-policy interfaces with visualization. Finally, we describe three exemplary case studies carried out in European research projects that instantiate the concept of this approach.

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Dambruch, Jens; Krämer, Michel

Leveraging Public Participation in Urban Planning with 3D Web Technology


Polys, Nicholas F. (General Chair) et al.: Proceedings Web3D 2014 : 19th International Conference on 3D Web Technology. New York: ACM, 2014, pp. 117-124

International Conference on 3D Web Technology (WEB3D) <19, 2014, Vancouver, BC, Canada>

In this paper we present a web-based platform that makes use of HTML5 technology and WebGL to facilitate public participation in urban planning. It consists of components that enable city administrations to present urban plans to the public and to engage with stakeholders. One of these components uses the open source library X3DOM to visualise 3D content-for example, a city model containing a 3D representation of a planned building. Since X3DOM does not need additional software to be installed on the user's system our implementation is more portable than previous work. Our solution is based on the open source software Liferay which allows it to be configured for various urban planning projects. In order to enable communication between different web application components residing in inline frames (iframes) we implemented a special message bus based on HTML5 postMessage. In this paper we describe implementation details, but we also intensively discuss the possibilities of modern web technology for urban planning. We motivate the use of such technology through three examples that can be implemented using our web application. In this paper we also present results from evaluating our application in user workshops carried out within the project urbanAPI that is funded by the European Commission. Finally, we draw conclusions and discuss possibilities for future urban planning use cases.