SOCIAL PARTICIPATION IN THE ASPECT OF A SMART CITY DEVELOPMENT

Katarzyna KOCUR-BERA
2019 GeoScience Engineering  
Advanced technologies are entering citizens' lives, which can be noticed at every turn. Society is becoming increasingly involved in building, creating and planning a city, district or the nearest place of residence. The quality of the functioning of the local community and the quality of life depend, to a large extent, on the level of social participation. The aim of social participation is to establish a mechanism for meeting citizens' needs, and to achieve citizens' acceptance of the
more » ... ies' actions. Modern communication techniques greatly facilitate the expression of public opinion and public awareness in this regard has been on the rise. A growing number of new forms of communication using modern technologies are being developed all the time. The aim of the study is to analyse the forms of social participation in the city life, inter alia spending financial resources on its development. Attention is also drawn to the most recent ways in which the authorities communicate with the public in order for the latter to express their opinions on the former's actions. Practical research was conducted for the city of Olsztyn located in the north-eastern part of Poland. Social activity forms were analysed, including those carried out using ICT technologies. The research shows that access to modern technologies facilitates contact between the city authorities and citizens, which ensures that the policy under implementation is kept in line with citizens' expectations. infrastructural projects on a regional or national scale to the shaping of space on a micro-scale [10] [11] [12] . The authorities, while shaping the space of life, are obliged to shape it together with citizens. They are of significance in the democratic decision-making process at the local level, supporting local authority structures in solving numerous social problems and increasing the economic efficiency of local governments, the quality of services provided and the level of satisfying local needs [13] . Certain forms of social participation are also required by Polish legislation [14] [15] [16] [17] . The social participation level comprises three main components: information, consultation and co-decision, which presents the image of the areas of social participation [18] (see Figure 1) . Figure 3. Sources of information on voters taking part in the Olsztyn Participatory Budget. Source: own study Under the OPB, city inhabitants could submit applications for the implementation of both district and citywide projects, and vote for the submitted proposals using the traditional or on-line system. The number of proposed projects varied from one district to another. Table 1 shows the number of district (local) and city-wide (integrated) projects qualified for voting in the subsequent years of the analysis. Figure 6. Inhabitants' rating of the tram project launched in Olsztyn in 2016 (scale ranging from 1-very poor to 5-very good), broken down by districts. Source: own study based on [21] CONCLUSIONS The aim of the study was to analyse social participation in smart city development. The analysis was conducted for the city of Olsztyn, located in the Warmia-Mazury Voivodeship (Poland), where the possibilities of communication between the authorities and citizens and the expression of one's opinion were analysed. In order to meet the expectations, the authorities of Olsztyn allowed the city inhabitants to participate in the allocation of funds for infrastructural purposes (the participatory budget), and launched a platform which enables the survey of public opinion on a variety of city-related issues. The first form of social activity is implemented in two ways (traditionally and through the media), while the second form requires that participants are familiar with new technologies, including IT tools. In the era of the development of such services, the set course will facilitate contacts between the authorities and inhabitants in the future.
doi:10.35180/gse-2019-0016 fatcat:ofdwovfdbbhkfmo43du4ax5byq