Designing the City: Challenges and Opportunities in Public Service Design

This workshop aims at bringing together C&T researchers and practitioners interested in designing digital services and technologies for local governments.

Call for Participation

Municipalities around the world have become increasingly reliant upon digital technologies in their everyday operations. In pursuit of a faster, cheaper, and more efficient local government, service platforms and applications that mediate citizen-government interactions, smart city infrastructures, and automated decision making systems have proliferated. More recently, digital technologies are also sought to address socially complex issues and foster bottom-up civic engagements. These ambitions, motivated by both rational and democratic perspectives, however, confront many technical, social, institutional, and political challenges. How to navigate issues of power, politics, and policy when designing digital technologies for local governments? How to embed design into the existing structures and processes in local governments? How to design for sustained impact that goes beyond one-off projects or hackathons? How can human-centered design cope with the diverse and even conflicting needs of multiple stakeholders?

This on-site workshop aims to bring together researchers and professionals to (1) explore how these challenges could be addressed critically, practically, and holistically and (2) map the existing and emerging challenges and opportunities for designing public digital services and technologies. We invite you to submit a 1-3-page position paper on the topic and a statement explaining how your work relates to designing digital technologies for local governments. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

• Work that engages with a diverse set of stakeholders across the city. This includes research that deals with public and/or private stakeholders as well as work that highlights the organizational challenges due to political interference or specific forms of management within municipalities.

• Work that highlights the role of the citizens. This may be in the form of participatory design/civic engagement or design for underserved groups.

• Work that introduces design interventions. This includes research that develops new approaches to urban design or municipal services.

• Work that bridges the research-practice gap. This includes research that introduces new methods or technologies.

Selected contributors will be invited to develop a full paper for a planned special issue on the topic in the International Journal of Design.

Submission Details