WIT Press

Wikiplanning™: The Virtual Design Charrette


Free (open access)





Page Range

517 - 526




262 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


D. E. Ryan, N. W. Brown & J. K. Middleton


If sustainable development is to be supported by policy makers, than they need to be able to hear from a more diverse audience than the small number of people who typically attend public meetings or design charrettes and whose self-interest and NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) sometime outweigh their ability to have a broader perspective. Wikiplanning addresses that challenge. It is an online method created to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of civic engagement in the community planning process. Its intent is to recreate the typical design charrette or public meeting in a virtual environment using the interactive platform of Web 2.0. To test the methodology, architecture and geography students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) utilized virtual social networks, blogs and online surveys to solicit feedback from the campus community about the university’s master plan update. This paper reports on the findings relative to the evaluation of the methods, the bridging of the digital divide in civic engagement, and the discovery of a very limited number of online applications that offer alternatives to the traditional design charrette. Keywords: charrette, web-based technologies, online collaboration, urban design, civic engagement. 1 Introduction Local, state and national governments can adopt policies that support the development of more sustainable cities. However, when that occurs, it is often due to the efforts of a handful of enlightened leaders rather than being the result


charrette, web-based technologies, online collaboration, urban design, civic engagement.