Citizen Voices in Cities Dashboard

The objective of the project is twofold. First, our aim was to provide local government authorities (LGAs) with a low-cost tool for supporting their community engagement programs. Second, we aimed for the dashboard to be a useful tool for both understanding current issues in local communities and assessing the long-term impact of development projects through mining and visualising social media posts.

The Citizen Voices in Cities (CiViC) dashboard was developed as a web platform built on a continuously updated database of online data and offering different visualisations to explore this data. Data (“reactions”) was collected from Twitter and analysed using sentiment analysis and clustering. The dashboard was developed as a prototype with data for the Greater Sydney and Greater Brisbane areas in Australia. We conducted interviews with representatives from one LGA from each of these areas prior to designing the dashboard and a focus group with representatives from the same LGAs in which we demonstrated the dashboard and its features. 

Based on initial interviews and focus groups with LGA representatives, we found the data mining algorithms to be an effective tool for gaining quick overviews of sentiment and clusters. The source data in the form of the original reactions were considered an important element of the dashboard for making sense of the sentiment and clusters. 

The project was funded through the following grant: Enabling Participatory Local Government in Smart Cities, Alizadeh, T., Dowling, R., Tomitsch, T., Sarkar, S., Hespanhol, L., Innovation and Science/Smart Cities and Suburbs Programme, 2019.