An Urban Planning Approach To Digital Inequality: Proposed Methods And Lessons From A Case Study of Toronto
thesisposted on 25.05.2021, 07:16 authored by Teresa J. Liu
Disparities in the access of digital resources and opportunities have been a concern since the early days of the internet, yet most jurisdictions do not currently have comprehensive and detailed datasets to support planning and policy. This study seeks to develop a practical approach for exploring intra-community digital inequalities from an urban planning perspective, in particular through the lenses of digital engagement and governance, and the redistribution of resources. Lessons from a scan of issues, existing frameworks, and examples in academic and grey literature show the importance of local context in understanding digital inequality, contribute to the development of a toolbox of possible practices, and reveal suggestions for data collection and sharing. These findings are applied to a case study of Toronto, which finds both concerns regarding digitally excluded groups as well as opportunities for more equitable engagement practices through digital platforms.