The project explores the potential of crowdsourcing (an online, distributed problem-solving process for creative solutions
development) to advance innovative urban sustainability governance (USG) models. It is intended to investigate whether and
how crowdsourcing can be appropriate for:
- dealing with the mutable, multi-scalar and complex character of urban sustainability (including environmental protection and
- activating real participatory processes in knowledge production and decision-making;
- empowering technological agency of heterogeneous actor-networks for narrowing the gap between research results and policy applications.
Research hypothesis are tested against evidences collected through investigation on the city of Ghent (Belgium), whose
commitment for achieving urban sustainability goals through people’s participation, technological development and public-private partnerships makes it a forefront example in the European panorama. Actor-Network Theory framework and
Scenario Building analysis are adopted for modelling current material-semiotic fluxes in USG; and for prefiguring
future social, political and economic development determined by the introduction of crowdsourcing processes. Scientific
results will include:
- the assessment of the most appropriate crowdsourcing processes for citizens, administrations and business to
collaboratively produce an innovative USG model;
- the provision of policy-suggestions for the implementation of crowdsourcing-based participatory processes for USG in the
context of European cities.
Scientific and logistic support for the research will be provided by the Centre for Sustainable Development at Ghent University, whose leading experience on sustainable cities, transition governance, scenarios-building and future studies will
provide applicant with the necessary expertise and assistance for establishing a European academic career in science,
technology and society studies.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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