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E-Civic Engagement and the Youth: New Frontiers and Challenges for Urban Planning

E-Civic Engagement and the Youth: New Frontiers and Challenges for Urban Planning
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Author(s): Kheir Al-Kodmany (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA), John Betancur (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)and Sanjeev Vidyarthi (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Volume: 1
Issue: 3
Pages: 18
Source title: International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Carlos Nunes Silva (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/ijepr.2012070105


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This article explores how community-based organizations working in low-income residential neighborhoods of U.S. cities employ e-tools and social networking platforms to engage the youth. The authors interviewed representatives of community organizations that work with young adults from lower-income groups in Chicago to comprehend their actual usages and perceptions of electronic tools. These organizations facilitate a wide-range of initiatives including political and after-school education, gang-free spaces, crime intervention and prevention, and arts and media. They found that the organizations have internalized the idea of employing e-Engagement techniques to enhance communication with their constituents but use new technologies and social media in multiple ways. Many respondents posit that the presently available e-tools enable certain forms of civic engagement but require sustained resources. Also stressed is the roles of face-to-face communication, offline-meetings, and other traditional means of interaction to ensure the commitment and quality of effective engagement in this age of e-participations.

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