Introducing CITIDEP

February 2004 click para versão portuguesa


Research Center

on Information Technology

and Participatory Democracy

CITIDEP is a private, non-profit, multi-national research institution, whose primary objective is to study participatory democracy, in particular through the research, development and demonstration of new information technologies, of its impacts, and of ethical, social, political and planning frameworks that enable participatory mechanisms in the information society.

R. Tristão Vaz, 10 - 5º E, 1400 Lisboa, Portugal

CITIDEP has its headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal, European Union, but it is open to researchers from any country in the world, through national chapters and multi-national research clusters.

CITIDEP was created in September 1996 and has currently about 90 affiliates in 10 countries, with 3 organized chapters (Portugal, USA and Mexico) and another soon to be (France). All Chapters share common objectives, principles and by-laws, as well as research goals, but are otherwise autonomous.

CITIDEP has a particular aptitude for applied research, based on national and multinational multidisciplinary teams. We face the challenge of combining research on technology and engineering with research on social sciences and humanities, keeping a focus on participatory democracy and information technologies; and the no lesser challenge of linking such research to concrete measures in support of the civil society.

Reflecting our profile as a Research Center, among our membership we count 20 Ph.D.'s (17 of which are Faculty members in Universities), 12 Ph.D. candidates, 23 holding a Master degree, and 2 Master degree candidates. About 70% of our membership is actively engaged in research.

Reflecting also our commitment to link research to praxis in society, many CITIDEP members are professionals with responsibilities in both the private and public sectors; some of them are leading activists of major Non-Governmental Organizations.

Our associates have a rich and diverse background, including: Political Science, Planning, Economy, Business, Management, Communications, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, Environmental Engineering, Biology, Social Service, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Philosophy, Pedagogy, Literature, among others.


To pursue its objectives, CITIDEP proposes to:

a) Organize and develop disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary studies and research projects;

b) Offer grants for research and study, including for masters and doctoral study, and host and orient grantees of the Center itself or other institutions;

c) Collaborate with educational institutions to develop new curriculum materials relating new information technologies and participatory democracy;

d) Sponsor and collaborate with other scientific institutions in the holding of colloquia, conferences, and seminars, with the aim of fostering debate and furthering knowledge on these issues;

e) Promote and collaborate in training activities;

f) Constitute a Documentation Center, with access to international computer networks;

g) Contribute to research and development of computer-based tools that support participatory democracy;

h) Inform public opinion and raise public awareness, through its own publications, including international ones, and through the general mass media;

i) Provide services that help to promote participatory democracy, as well as related research and development activities;

j) Promote and collaborate in initiatives that lead to legislative reform in the area of new technologies and participatory democracy;

k) Collaborate with public institutions, such as national, regional and local administrations and parliaments, as well as federative multinational institutions such as the European Parliament, United Nations, and others;

l) Support individual citizens and citizens' groups in processes of public consultation, namely in environmental impact reviews, land use plans and city master plans.

(From CITIDEP Constitution)

CITIDEP Executive Committee

CITIDEP Science Council

CITIDEP Research Clusters and Domains

• Research Cluster "Supporting Areas"

  • Meta-Research
  • Mathematical analysis, Models and Simulation
  • Pedagogy, Learning and School Curricula
  • • Research Cluster "Information Areas"

  • Communication and Media
  • Information Technology
  • • Research Cluster "Social Areas"

  • Social Frameworks:
    -Ideology, Ethics, Economy and Political Science
  • Society and Institutions:
    -Planning, Legislation and Public Administration
  • Society and People:
    -Social Movements, Communities and the Individual

  • Research and Projects (examples) Research and Projects (examples)

    Melvin King, PhD H., Prof. Emeritus MIT, Urban Studies and Planning, leads the "South End Technology Center" Project at Tent City, Boston, an experiment to provide free or low-cost community acess to information technology.

    Timothy Sieber, PhD Anthropology, coordinates the EXPO'98 Impacts Project, researching the social impacts and public perception of Lisbon's waterfront development.

    Pedro Ferraz de Abreu, PhD Planning, coordinates the IMS Project (Intelligent Multimedia System), developing prototypes and researching the use of new information technologies in public and expert participation for Environmental Impact Reviews
    and also heads the Citizenship and New Technologies Program.

    Ana Teresa Chinita, MSc. Environment, coordinates the expert panel in the IMS Project, in particular in the area of Solid Urban Waste Management.

    Manuel Antunes, PhD 'ABD' Sociology, coordinates the user survey in the Public Access to Environmental Information Project (PAEI), for the Lisbon / Tagus Valley Regional Administration of the Portuguese Environmental Ministry.

    Isabel Noronha, Lic. Biology, coordinates the compilation of organic legislation within this project domain (PAEI), as well as the design of Public Access to Water Quality Data over the Internet.

    Nuno Vieira, Lic. Biologia, Biology, coordinates the design of Public Access to Information and in support of complaints regarding Noise, over the Internet, for the same project (PAEI).

    Lucie Laurian, PhD City and Regional Planning, leads the research proposal on the uses of new Information Technologies by Grassroots organizations.

    Expert Panel working session for the IMS Project

    Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, PhD Electronics, develops and maintains CITIDEP Internet infrastructure in support of CITIDEP projects, leads research in Voice Recognition.

    Antonio Fernandes, Eng. Electronics, coordinates the DRA-LVT Information System Project, integrating data bases, networks, internet access, and Java.

    Pedro Borges, Student Electronic Eng., implements the Public Access via Web to Air Quality Data, for Lisbon and Barreiro/Seixal's Air Management Commission, using CGI technology for Internet Graph Data.

    José Portela, PhD Internet and Pedagogy, leads research on the Use of Internet as Teaching Aid, heading a "Competence Center" under the Nónio Program, in Viana do Castelo (IPVC), and is a scientific adviser for the Citizenship Kit Project Proposal

    João Joanaz de Melo, PhD Environment, coordinates research in the area of Environmental Planning and Sustainable Development, and the Institutional Cooperation between CITIDEP and DCEA-FCT/UNL, such as ICPPIT99.

    José Manuel Palma, PhD Psychology, coordinates research in the area of Environmental Psychology and Risc Perception.

    Filomena Henriques, Lic. and Pos-Grad. in Social Service, works with Municipality School Systems with a focus on the use of information technologies and learning citizenship.

    Valerie Aillaud, DEA Political Sciences, prepares a project pre-proposal for the Use of Public Libraries for Public Access to the new Information Technologies.

    Angela Cacciarru, MPhil Economy, studies Environmental Economy applications and analysis of Externalities, leading the respective task force in the IMS Project.

    More documentation and other information relative to these and other projects, is available at CITIDEP Web site: visitas:

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