Assessing the effectiveness of online community opposition to precinct planning

Wayne Williamson*, Kristian Ruming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Since its inception the Internet has generated debate over its likely role in reinvigorating democracy. The more recent appearance of social media and its ubiquitous use via smart phones has added fuel to the debate. Within planning literature, discussion has centred on the value of social media as a tool for community participation. This paper explores the use of social media by a community group in their opposition to a large urban regeneration project – the North Ryde Station Urban Activation Precinct – in Sydney's north-western suburbs. Utilising the research technique of sentiment analysis, a picture of the community group's activities can be captured, including the community's self-organisation, information distribution, recruitment, analysis of issues and sentiment at different times during master planning process. In this instance, the community group is led by a small number of people, while the majority has a low-participation rate. The community group takes a generally positive approach to distributing information and motivating local residents to get involved in the opposition of the master plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Planner
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


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