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Virtual City Hall: The Governance of Local E-Government

  • Michel S. Laguerre

Abstract

The study of the digital city would be incomplete without an analysis of the governance of a virtual city hall, including its digital management and its relations with the urban citizenry. City hall as the visible face of government at the local level is an important locus of study that can help us understand how virtuality and globalization are inscribed in this local site of global practice. One informant noted,

There are three different phases to e-govemment. One is just the putting up of static information on the Web page. Almost every government is at that point. I think we are limited by bandwidth issues at this point, but I definitely think it weighs towards “we are all putting information out there, help yourself to it.” It tends towards the transparency of the government and it starts to move away from “OK, we only work from 8 to 5.” The second phase is putting up transaction and e-commerce sites. For example, we have on-line filing of business taxes, registration payment on-line, other taxes, and what not. I think that there is another stage to e-govemment, which is to fundamentally change the way we do business. Right now, I think that most of the use of the Web mirrors the hierarchical structure, and I think that the real power of the Internet is to break down those structures.… Instead of being tempted by putting a Web interface on an existing process, this should be an opportunity for the government to look at the ways of reengineering the process.

Keywords

City Government Participatory Democracy Staff Person Democratic Practice City Hall 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Michel S. Laguerre 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel S. Laguerre
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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