Technology-Enabled Participatory Platforms for Civic Engagement: The Case of U.S. Cities

Kevin C. Desouza, Akshay Bhagwatwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Technology-enabled participatory platforms are proving to be valuable canvases for engaging citizens in solving public-good challenges. Citizens are playing a more active role by either designing platforms themselves or participating on platforms created by public agencies. Unfortunately, our theoretical knowledge about the nature of these platforms is limited. In this paper, we take the first steps towards understanding technology-enabled participatory platforms. Through an exploratory analysis, following the spirit of a grounded theoretic methodology, we examined technology-enabled participatory platforms in the 25 most populated cities in the United States. We deduce four main archetypes—citizen centric and citizen data, citizen centric and government data, government centric and citizen data, and government centric and citizen-developed solutions of technology-enabled participatory platforms. We describe the intricacies of how collective intelligence is leveraged on these platforms. Implications for local government managers and urban planners are discussed. We hypothesize how the future of these platforms might evolve in the not so distant future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-50
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Urban Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014


  • cities
  • civic engagement
  • crowdsourcing
  • participatory platforms
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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