Exploring emerging ICT-enabled governance models in European cities


Starting date: October 2009
Duration: 12 months

Objectives: The IPTS Exploratory research on ICT-enabled governance models in European cities aims at deepening the understanding of the interplay between ICTs and governance processes at city level in the EU by providing evidence of the changes that ICTs are producing on city governance models.
The focus of the research is on the way the different stakeholders interact when introducing ICTs in governance systems and the way these interactions affect institutions and communities, and the related decision-making process. Two main issues will be specifically investigated: 1) the changes produced by ICTs on the governance processes, (e.g. regulatory and legal frameworks, organisational and administrative procedures, roles of various stakeholders involved, etc.) and consequently the effects on decision-making, public management and service delivery; and 2) the socio-economic implications at policy level.

The core research question underpinning the analysis is the following: What new ICT-enabled governance models are emerging at city level in Europe?

In order to answer this research question three sub-questions will be researched:

    • Which are the main dimensions of new ICT-enabled governance models emerging in European cities?
    • What are the effects of the changes driven by ICTs on the interaction 1) within the city administration and 2) between the city government and other stakeholders in a specific policy domain?
    • What are the implications of new ICT-enabled governance models on a specific policy domain?

Partners: This exploratory research is conducted in collaboration with EUROCITIES, the network of major European cities bringing together the local governments of more than 130 large cities in over 30 European countries and providing a platform for its member cities to share knowledge and to exchange experiences. In particular, the research is carried out within the framework of the Working Group on eGovernment 2.0 of the Knowledge Society Forum (Contacts: Chair of the Working Group: Franco Carcillo, City of Turin, franco.carcillo(at)comune.torino.it; Policy Officer Knowledge Society, Jan Franke, Jan.Franke(at)eurocities.eu).

Related activities:

The research will carry on the following activities:

  • Development of a framework to assess the main dimensions of ICT-enabled governance models at city level through conceptual work, desk research and consultation with representatives of cities and other experts.
  • Case Studies Analysis:
    • Selection of a limited number of cases to be studied in-depth in order to understand the effects of changes driven by ICTs and analyse their implications on a specific policy domain to be identified in collaboration with cities.
    • Case studies investigation through interviews and focus groups with representatives of cities and other stakeholders (circa 10-15 per city) and analysis of documentation and data made available during interviews with selected cities.
  • Cross-cases assessment and discussion of the key drivers of changes and their consequences for ICT-enabled governance as well as the implications on the policy domain under investigation.
  • Validation of findings from case studies and discussion of results of the exploratory research with experts, representatives from the cities and other stakeholders.
  • Drafting of a Final Report which will include policy recommendations and indications to define a future research agenda in the area of ICT-enabled governance in European cities.

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Project Leader: Gianluca Misuraca, Gianluca.Misuraca(at)ec.europa.eu