Community development increasingly relies upon the Internet to bridge divisions and to forge linkages between disparate communities. From Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, to instant messaging and email, communities across the United States have turned to the Internet to not only connect communities but also to provide core government services. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the Internet has transformed the way that communities do business.
As the Planning Associate, you have been asked to submit a plan to the City Manager’s Office on strengthening your efforts in the area of technology. In an 8- to 10-page plan, reflect upon what strategies community developers could enact that would capitalize on the Internet to not only provide government services to citizens but also to spark renewed development and interest in local communities. You may wish to focus on the following considerations:
Do all citizens need Internet access? If so, how can communities provide greater access to broadband Internet access to their citizens? How would this enhance responsible community development?
What government services can be transmitted to citizens via the Internet? Which should not? Why?
Are social networking sites an effective mechanism for communities to link citizens and to encourage community development?
What dangers, if any, confront community developers as they seek new technological means to provide linkages between citizens and between government and citizens?
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