ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
This project is an inquiry into the importance of public involvement and collective design. It explores the ways to which the city can make better use of existing data and also the ways to provide equal opportunities to the public to become involved in design and planning process.
ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY 1 | P a g e NOTE: This is the synopsis of the proposal. For the full proposal please contact the PI: Saad Aqeel Alzrooni COMMUNITY ASSET MAPPING: AN EVOLUTIONARY CONCEPT WITH A REVOLUTIONARY PICTURE IN MIND ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY Principal Investigator: Saad Aqeel Alzrooni This proposal expresses the views of the author and is not associated with any firm or entity he represents. ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY 2 | P a g e Abstract This project is an inquiry into the importance of public involvement and collective design. It explores the ways to which the city can make better use of existing data and also the ways to provide equal opportunities to the public to become involved in design and planning process. This project aims to investigate the potential use of participatory mapping method by demonstrating a working prototype for a web-based communitys asset mapping platform capable of engaging the citizens in community planning initiatives at the local level. The research will be guided by the following questions: 1. What are the tools that will help us identify the unique resources in the community, both tangible and intangibles assets? 2. In what ways does the development of communitys asset mapping become a valuable tool for sustainable and inclusive communities design? 3. How can technology assist us to design applications that encourage people to participate in mapping their community resources? 4. How the social media networks and interactive mappings can help us to obtain necessary data for mapping communitys resources for planning purposes? To address these research questions, a mixed method will be used: desk research, in-depth ethnographic interviews, online community survey, focus groups, and document review. This project is innovative in a number of ways. The proposed idea for a web-based asset mapping platform provides a cost-effective and information-rich alternative to traditional expensive cultural survey services. This method allows getting a fresh perspective by looking at data from different points of view: cross cultural, public access, concentration, and social networking. The information can also be used to locate gaps and overlaps, and identify peoples needs for services in the community. This research has implications for city and community design, and it contributes to the literature related to collaborative design and participatory planning. ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY 3 | P a g e Research Context The research on available application platforms shows that there is thousands of Application Programming Interfaces (API) that would allow city planners to use the rich data that are generated from the participatory mapping application platform. The proposed design for an online communitys asset mapping motivates diverse users to share information and media contents in their city and encourage them to become active contributors to participatory planning and mapping initiatives. By synthesizing these sets of information, both quantitatively and qualitatively, it aims to identify mechanisms through which public engagement and participatory planning are supported and disseminated. Research Opportunity The body of research examining the participatory mapping method and its implementation is emerging. This research addresses the need for more in-depth ethnographic research on collective design and participatory mapping methodologies for the purpose of planning and designing inclusive communities. Purpose of the Research The research is guided by these two goals: first, to set up a baseline of information on communitys resources and to produce visual representation of these findings; and second, to develop recommendations for building the capacity for additional communitys asset planning efforts by demonstrating a training manual for communitys asset mapping application. Research Questions The research will be guided by the following questions: 5. How do we get to the core of what is distinctive about a place? 6. What are the tools that will help us identify the unique resources in the community, both tangible and intangibles assets? 7. In what ways does the development of communitys asset mapping become a valuable tool for sustainable and inclusive communities design? 8. How can technology assist us to design applications that encourage people to participate in mapping their community resources? 9. How the social media networks and interactive mappings can help us to obtain necessary data for mapping communitys resources for planning purposes? Scope of the Research Due to the studys necessarily narrow scope, its conceptual framework and analysis are introductory. This research is delimited and concentrated on developing a design concept for increasing the public participation and community engagement by enabling users to become active contributors to the communitys asset mapping and planning. Target Group The audience for this research is those who are involved with or interested in the city planning especially smart city planning and sustainable community design and city resource management and development. Work Plan The project will be implemented as described below: ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY 4 | P a g e Research Task Description Deep user understanding Narrow the scope of community asset mapping and understanding the end users and other stakeholders more broadly and deeply. Concept visualization Concept ideation to help visualize the users needs through prototyping and user evaluation. Experiential learning and urban ethnographic research Examining issues related to urban planning and policy issues with a focus on real urban contexts. Concept implementation Strategic and design. Align broad concepts with future realities through strategy formulation and design of the model itself. Data validation Abstracting, and transforming the data in field notes and transcriptions. And carrying out feedback interviews from experts in design and qualitative research. Recommendation (Final Design Artifact) Final report document and public presentation to community of practice Project Resources These resources include experts in design thinking and applied theory, ethnographic research and interaction design. Additionally, selected institutional resources provide learning and research opportunities necessary for implementing the proposed design concept. ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY 5 | P a g e Biographical Statement Saad is perfectionist yet pragmatic in everything he does. His introverted intuition makes him an idea generator and a visionary person. His research interest centers in understanding the ways social design and ethnographic research can serve as vehicle for community engagement and social change. Qualifications MFA Design Management MSSA Social and Community Development BA Sociology and Social Development Specialist in collaborative design and cultural mapping Extensive experience in human capital development in learning organizations All Rights Reserved ENGAGING COMMUNITIES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY 6 | P a g e Saad Aqeel 2012 This document is for information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.