Smart cities and digital democracy have begun to converge around
mobile computing, enabling, web services, and different operational and shared databases to create new opportunities for civic engagement for concerned citizens as well as new efficiencies for public services provided by local government. While many of these projects remain siloed to specific departments of local government, when viewed in aggregate, they begin to fill in a more complex picture of how piecemeal projects are changing the relationship between local government and the public. As an example of this change, we describe our partnership with multiple city and regional agencies in Atlanta. We discuss a pair of projects that together, aim to transform Atlanta’s transportation system by more effectively connecting the public to transportation services and to the processes of infrastructure planning. The projects we present here —Cycle Atlanta and OneBusAway—are part of a larger civic computing agenda where models of digital democracy and smart cities combine to create a data ecosystem where citizens produce and consume different forms of data to enable better infrastructure planning and to enhance alternative modes of transportation.
Le Dantec, C. A., Watkins, K. E., Clark, R., & Mynatt, E. (2015) Cycle Atlanta and OneBusAway: Driving innovation through the data ecosystems of civic computing, HCI International.