Problem Statement

With its slow, few, and limited stakeholders, current urban planning proceses has discouraged participation and dampened the sense of ownership. Studies have shown that there is a negative spiral between ’participation’ and ’ownership’; The further residents lower their sense of ownership, the further they are deterred from involvement.

[definition of ownership]

  • equity stack through a community endowment.

To cut this spiral, we hypothesize a setting where people have more direct ownership of real estate property. What if there was an incentive mechanism that would affect people’s daily pocketbooks? What kind of support systems will be necessary for this to work? Can technology be an aid for collectively deciding and resolving conflicts?

giving people equity stake => personalized ’’, immediate tangile impact.

This increased sense of ownership or the “personalization of urban planning” will raise several issues.

As a comparative example, people welcome automated driving that contribute to the reduction of traffic accidents, but when asked if they would own or ride in an automatic car, their support for automated driving is unlikely to be strong. Like this example, various urban and social problems are accompanied by the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) problem. 1

people act in their,

  • short term value > long term value

right now, people will oppose because of ’negative’

  • identify the mechanism for social transformation

On one hand the city is “planned by others” by discouraging participation with a few stakeholders. On the other hand, excessive NIMBYs create fierce resistance to protecting vested interests in real estate, contributing to the disparity between the rich and the poor. This study seeks to find a balancing mechanism for collective decision making.

Expected Results and Contribution

This research focuses on making a system in which people can decide on urban design issues collectively. The tool will have the potential to be used in citizen participatory budgeting projects or decentralized real estate ownership.

Research Plan

The Mirage City: Collective decision-making in a simulated city

The system needs to handle complex and large scale topics like zoning and resource allocation.

To test the decision-making system, we need to have a city, but using actual cities is costly. Using a simulation is a good excuse for things that are costly or otherwise impossible to do. We will use a computer game (“Cities:Skylines”) for this purpose.

Group Lunch

Simulated cities only pose partially simulated incentives. The system needs to handle real-life decisions that affect people’s lives financially and physically. We use an example of people deciding on their lunch in group meetings. The decision will determine what people will eat, pay for, and know how much environmental impact will be.



When ’equity’ is factored in to algorithms that face social issues, often times the privileged gets upset…

Date: 2022-07-17 Sun 16:49