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2 An Alternative Process

Accordingly, publishing the problem at hand was made first, and framed as part of a bigger scale strategy aimed at the whole Tetuan district to regenerate the most deteriorated areas of that large city area. The idea behind this was that developing awareness of the problem was key to create a collective sense of appropriation of the solutions achieved [1]. The new process was then articulated in the following steps:

5. Calling for contributions.

6. Problem mapping.

7. Survey-based collection of problems, needs and desired uses.

8. Urban-to-detail scale Modeling.

9. First Collective Publishing.

10. External feedback provision.

11. Mapping material resources (donations, work contributions, etc.)

12. Execution.

13. Final Publishing and dissemination of results.

As said , even more than the design process, the focus was to design a sustainable and effective process, and engage stakeholders along its enaction and unfolding to improve knowledge and appropriation. In what follows we will describe each step in some detail.

2.1 Calling for Contributions

In this firs step, we aimed to call for crowdsourced contribution through traditional social networks and put the problem on the table, so to say. To this aim, we composed a Web page and shared it through a public folder on the Dropbox platform[1]. This was meant to allow all participants to edit the page content without any particular installation or knowledge of file transfer protocols like FTP or the like. Moreover, we created a Facebook page with a wall to post comments, a Twitter hashtag, and a WhatsApp chat group. These efforts notwithstanding at the beginning user engagement was low. To increase it, we invested more efforts in proposing the use of some more interactive tools, like the online survey already mentioned and state-of-the-art 3D online modeling tools, whose online resources were linked in the Web resources mentioned above. We noticed a positive impact in the collaborative discussion and traced back this phenomenon to a stronger feeling of the users involved to be contributing with “real inputs” to the project, and not just with “messages in a bottle”. This could be also related to a climb in the participation ladder[2] from the consultation level, i.e., a kind of tokenism, to a preliminary form of partnership, which is associated with a higher empowerment of the citizens involved.

  • [1] The page is still accessible at th following URL: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5322317/Tetuan/web/index.html.
 
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