Empowering community volunteers through matchmaking services

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In Rotterdam, the participatory turn has spurred various bottom-up communities around public parks. These communities aim to take care of the parks in their neighbourhood and search for ways to demonstrate the societal value of their initiative. The current work explores how digital matchmaking services can strengthen community relationships. A research-through-design approach is applied to identify the main barriers hindering community participation. The final design Park Makers uses both Citizen-to-Activity matching and Citizen-to-Citizen matching as ways to engage citizens in the community. The corresponding research demonstrates that connecting park users (or better: future volunteers) with another citizen or activity matching their personal interest fosters community engagement. From this point of view, it might be interesting to focus further research on the potential value of other matchmaking principles, or even other services, for bottom-up citizen communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationServDes.2018 Service Design Proof of Concept
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the ServDes.2018 Conference
EditorsA. Meroni, A.M.O. Medina, B. Villari
PublisherLinköping University Electronic Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-91-7685-237-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventServDes.2018 : Service Design Proof of Concept - Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
Duration: 18 Jun 201820 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameLinköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
PublisherLinköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet
ISSN (Print)1650-3686
ISSN (Electronic)1650-3740




  • citizen participation
  • community engagement
  • public parks
  • service design
  • social cohesion


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