"Civic engagement & spatial planning; a serious gaming experiment"

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With the introduction of the Omgevingswet, participation has become more significative than ever. Creative ways to involve citizens, stakeholders and corporations are sought to come to supported decisions about the physical environment and to create room for new initiatives. However, a major challenge in setting up participation processes is making it appealing for citizens to take part in them. Rational ignorance may stand in the way: citizens weigh the benefits of partaking in relation to the action that has to be taken. A quasi-experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of a participation process on someone’s motivation to take civic action in the future and to see whether the rational ignorance gap is a predicator of one’s civic engagement level. The participation process consisted of a serious game. Between the pre-test and post-test results a significant raise in civic engagement levels of roughly 6% has been found. The index altered the most concerned citizens’ trust in the local authority. No evidence was found that the rational ignorance gap and the experiences with the serious game were predictors for these levels (figure 1 – Summary). In conclusion: the serious game lead to higher trust in the local authority and more motivation to participate in the future, which is in line with the concept of social capital.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen