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Title:Planning in cyberenvironments: an analysis of the impacts of open data in Chicago
Author(s):Vicentelo Lupa, Claudia Mariella
Director of Research:Kim, Tschangho J
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kim, Tschangho J
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hewings, Geoffrey; Lee, Bumsoo; Greenlee, Andrew
Department / Program:Urban and Regional Planning
Discipline:Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Knowledge planning: open data
smart city
Abstract:Technologies and the Internet have greatly enhanced the production and communication of information, increasingly impacting on our lives and cities. They have also fostered open access to information and the sharing of it via open data platforms. As a result, many cities are now embracing new modes of open data management. However, the impacts of open data extend beyond data management, transparency, and accountability to influencing governance and community participation. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze open data as part of the “smart city,” analyzing its potentialities and implications for urban planning based on Cyberenvironments, a collaborative and open approach. I chose Chicago as a case study, where open data is a bridge to Chicago becoming a smart city. The research analyzes the impacts of open data in Chicago, and focuses on changes in governance and the role of non-governmental actors, such as participants in the civic technology community that has gained the trust of citizens, institutions, organizations, and companies. I employed quantitative and qualitative methods, as previous approaches have been highly dominated by quantitative methods lacking a qualitative perspective. Thus, in this exploratory research, qualitative and quantitative methods are integrated by analyzing a single case study. An online survey was included in order to provide a more detailed characterization of the community that I defined as the “Chicago civic technology community” (CCTC). I then conducted semi-structured interviews of experts and decision makers from different institutions involved with initiatives, plans, and projects regarding open data in Chicago. Chicago has a dynamic open data movement supported by the local government, non-government organizations, universities, and citizens interested in sharing and providing urban solutions. The Chicago open data portal was launched in 2010 and relaunched in 2011. It was then supported by the Chicago Technology Plan in 2013, which provided a framework, vision, and strategies turning Chicago into a technology-based city. The plan incorporated a “civic innovation” strategy to empower citizens to use open data. However, since 2010 citizens have been using requesting and transforming data. The data transformation, occurring in collaborative environments, is helping the City of Chicago to spur better decision-making and efficiency. The role of citizen as “civic innovators” is crucial in accelerating this dynamic civic ecosystem. In this dissertation, what I identified the Chicago civic technology community goes beyond a temporal open data movement or simple network to become an engine of innovation building knowledge-based collaborative environments. The civic technology community’s human capital shows how highly skilled citizens can take advantage of open data, add value to raw data, and transform data into knowledge; the Chicago civic technology community has developed an active environment for interaction and the sharing of knowledge. However, this dynamic may actually increase the gap between highly skilled citizens and less skilled citizens, reinforcing existing patterns of exclusion. Thus, the issue is not only access to the information alone, because people require the capacity to transform data into knowledge. Thus, this dissertation presents a shift of paradigm from the “information age” to the “knowledge age,” and the implications of this in a planning context. The main implication involves the evolution from “e-planning,” based on networks and information, to “knowledge planning” (k-planning), based on Cyberenvironments and knowledge. This dissertation’s main finding is that k-planning represent a new venue in planning, offering a comprehensive and contextualized understanding of “planning in Cyberenvironments,” where “urban space” and “time” work together simultaneously to build such Cyberenvironments. K-planning addresses the real-time dimension by utilizing the “acceleration” of space and time simultaneously as “the acceleration of territorial development.” In term of policy implications, open data means more than simply the availability of online datasets—it requires the development of a dynamic civic innovation space, crucial for both countries and cities. Thus, cities need policies directed at strengthening human capital and reducing the gap between highly and low skilled citizens. K-planning offers an alternative to the development of smart cities beyond mere technology operation. I define K-planning for generation of urban development and for re-generation of existing cities; both cases taking into account “genius loci” (origin) and “milieu innovator” as an outcome. K-planning can be applied to the urban generation of smart cities and regeneration for smarter existing cities. K-planning is about synergies, innovation, and integration; it is about partnership based on ownership (specific achievements) and the contribution made by stakeholders for better policy making and promoting a culture of available, open, and relevant data. The aim is to nurture collective knowledge to meet the needs of the civil society via better governance, consensus building and policy making.
Issue Date:2015-07-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Claudia Vicentelo Lupa
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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