Aarhus City Lab

Digital Neighbourhood

Citizen dialogue and digital media

In the recent years the communication between the public sector and the citizens has become digitalized. The information stream in the transition to the digital age has often taking shape as a marketing initiativ aimed to a specific targetgroup.

Digital Neighbourhood turns the way of communication around. With baseline in actual cases defined by the citizens, projects will make an alternate dialogue, which uses the digital medias to develope engagement and citizenship on a local level.

Digital Neighbourhood explores how the public sector can involve citizens in the city- and service development by using digital installations, where the citizens can say their opinion. The installations give the decisionmakers the possibility to get into dialogue with inhabitants and hear about their ideas and wishes. The citizens get a unique chance to be heard and get impact on the decision making in the development of the districts in Aarhus. Digital Neighbourhood uses different methods as competitions and data visualisations to get the citizens input, also in the late stages of a project.

Digital Neighbourhoods installation has been placed different places in the municipality of Aarhus. In Harlev the municipality of Aarhus gave an amount of money to develope the citys green areas and library. The citizens decided how the money should be spent. Through digital installation the citizen say their ideas. It all resulted in lane of sand and a air lift. Furthermore the library created a gaming area. In similar projects in Beder and Malling the citizens could decide how the local train stations could be more attractive. In Åbyhøj students in the public schools decided what should be added at the local library.

The digital installations has furthermore contributed with citizen input from ReThink Activism Festival, Sharing Economy Festival and Jobcenter Aarhus. Next stop for Digital Neighbourhood is Aarhus City Welcome and the quarter Rundhøj.

Digital Neighbourhood is a collaboration between Borgerservice in the Municipality of Aarhus and Alexandra Institute, which also is a part of Smart Aarhus.

The project started 2014 and today more partners has come.

Watch this video to know how the 'phone booth' has created digital dialogue.