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Preliminary Proposal

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nader afzalan

on 18 November 2012

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Transcript of Preliminary Proposal

How can place-based virtual networks facilitate mutual understanding of planning projects among stakeholders? What is the issue? Working on a redevelopment project in central part of Iran.

Stakeholders may not know about:

The project limitations and requirements!
The other's rights and desires!
potentials for their living environment! Place-based virtual network:

A virtual organization that serves inhabitants of a special geographical area Like a neighborhood. Do place-based virtual networks facilitate stakeholders’ interactions towards mutual understanding of a project’s opportunities and constraints?
Communicative planning
(John Forester, 1987, 1993; Jurgen Habermas, 1992, 1996; Patsy Healey, 1992; Judith Innes,1995, 1998; Charles Hoch, 1996; Bent Flyvbjerg, 2001)

Mutual understanding among stakeholders
(Piaget, 1926; Vygotsky, 1978; Hiller, 1998; Shotter, 1993)

Discourses and understanding in web-based networks
(Sunstain, 2008; Shirky, 2008; Figueroa et al., 2002; (Jones and Rafaeli, 2001; Cona, 1997; Marker and Schmidt, 2000, et al.)
Controversies over the influence of social virtual networks on creation of consensus or underestanding among stakeholders.

The use of social virtual networks in participatory process is more explored by computer scientists and sociologists.

Not focused on "place-based virtual networks". Exploring if place-based virtual networks can mediate discourses and understandings among stakeholders about opportunities and constraints in planning projects.

Clarifying planners' role in mediating discourses in virtual local networks Research question: Literature review: Summary of literatuere review: The objective of this research: i-neighbors:
One of the most succesful place-based virtual networks
User-friendly interface
Creates the possibility of making comments, uploading images, participate in polls, etc for neighbors. Far West community in i-neighbors:

The virtual community for residents of Far West neighborhood in Eugene, Oregon.
One of the most active communities in i-neighbors
Has been active since 2005
Some members have been actively involved in discussing a planning issue. Far West Neighborhood Issue:

Deciding about a location and about characteristics of a new park which the City has decided to build in their neighborhood. Online participants in park-related discussion:

24 residents of Far West

A planner from the city i-neighbors Using mixed methods (Qualitative interpretive analysis& Regression analysis)

More focused on qualitative interpretive analysis Dependent variable Independent Variable 50/ 181 24/24 480/ 2389
Household 9/9 Qualitative interpretive analysis:

Line by line coding approach
Open coding (breaking down, examining, comparing, conceptualizing, and categorizing data) Regressin analysis:

Comparing the frequency of answers to closed-ended questions in interviews and questionnaires Validity Concerns Far West is not a typical American neighborhood (e.g. Household size, Household income)

Joining i-neighbors is not an equal opportunity for all

Far West is open to public

The possibility of Participation of Far West residents in other virtual networks Research Setting A case study research

Far West neighborhood community in i-neighbors network. Group 1:
Sample of Far West network members using i-neighbors who have not participated in park related discussions

Group 2:
All Far West network in i-neighbors who have participated in park related discusssions

Group 3:
Samples of Far West residents who have not joined the network

Group 4:
All planners in City of Eugene Questions? (A planning project) Various data collection methods:

Surveys through emails
Archival data collection
Mail-out/ mail-back surveys
Phone interview To compare among the selected four groups:

1) Understanding of different groups about the constraints and opportunities of each scenario for locating the new park, and their agreement about its characteristics;

2) Familiarity of each group with the City of Eugene staff;

3) The extent to which the members of each group (except the planners’ group) trust the city staff;

4) Willingness of each group (except the city staff) regarding mediation of public discussions by city staffs;

5) The idea of each group (except the city staff) about the role of planners in mediating decision making. Nader Afzalan

Preliminary Proposal

As Partial Requirements of The Doctoral Studies in Design and Planning

Summer 2011
University of Colorado
College of Design and Planning
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