Public participation is a very important concept in planning, it is being encouraged in organizations, local, state and federal government during any projects so as to get feedback from the set of people the projects are meant to serve. Public participation is the process by which an organization or government consults with interested or affected individuals, organizations, and government entities before making a decision. Public participation is a two way communication and collaborative problem solving with the goal of achieving better and more acceptable decision.
HOW IS PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ACHIEVED NOW
Town hall meeting – This is a meeting whereby people in the community of the proposed project meet with the organization or government agency in order to discuss the best way to achieve the goals been set. In developing countries like Nigeria, only few people show up for such meetings and at the end of the day, the public do not really have any impact on the project because few people cannot represent the opinions of the public.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION USING GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM
GIS has evolved from Desktop to WEB GIS, with the power of WEB GIS, public participation can be done using crowdsourcing GIS web apps and native apps.
Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining information or input into task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet.
SOLVING PROBLEMS THROUGH PUBLIC PARTICIPATION USING GIS
Some of the problems that can be solved includes:
Identification of potholes
People can easily pinpoint the location of potholes in their neighborhood using a crowdsourcing GIS app which gives feedback to the government and any organization in charge.
Feedbacks on projects in a community
People can easily comment or contribute to an ongoing project in their community using a crowdsourcing GIS app that shows all ongoing project in the community.
Report on crime incident
People can easily input crime location and the type of crime in their community using a crowdsourcing GIS app in which police departments can get feedback and subject such data to further analysis
Identification of traffic problems
People can easily pinpoint locations of traffic problems in their community using a crowdsourcing GIS app which gives feedback to the agencies in charge of traffic.
With the use of crowdsourcing GIS application (web apps or native apps). Power can be given to the public to contribute to ongoing projects, get feedback for a completed project, and help in identifying problems in the community.
We are in the computer age, let’s make use of these tools to make our community a better place.