Situated Engagement: Participatory Planning with Mobile Phones

Ph.D. Defence by Matthias Korn at Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, May 7, 2013.

Mobile phones and other situated technologies offer new possibilities to engage us citizens in urban planning activities while on the go, on our daily routes and routines. Matthias Korn has studied how to support people in participating in planning discussions while out and about and in close proximity to the sites of discussion. Experience from a number of software and hardware prototypes deployed in the field has led him to argue that mobile technologies afford a better integration of civic engagement activities into our everyday lives by offering opportunities to participate when such topics are most relevant and most present to us.

In doing so, Matthias Korn seeks to promote 'situated engagement', that is, to support civic engagement activities in those spatial contexts that are at stake in urban planning. Situated engagement complements existing forms of engagement such as polls, town hall meetings, or consensus conferences, because it connects discussions to the places of our daily life that are personally meaningful and relevant to us.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Participatory Information Technology (PIT), Aarhus University.

Time: Tuesday, 7 May 2013 at 13:00
Place: Nygaard-184 (Building 5335, Room 184), Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University
Title of dissertation: Situating Engagement: Ubiquitous Infrastructures for In-Situ Civic Engagement
Contact information: Matthias Korn, e-mail:, tel.: +45 8715 6157
Members of the assessment committee:
Associate Professor Marcus Foth, Urban Informatics Research Lab, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Associate Professor Jesper Kjeldskov, Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University
Associate Professor Christian Storm Pedersen (chair), Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Professor Susanne Bødker, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English.