Can Social Media Support Large Scale Public Participation in Urban Planning? The Case of the #Mysydney Digital Engagement Campaign

Public participation in urban planning often focuses on the effectiveness of participation at the neighbourhood scale, while less attention is given to metropolitan wide participation. The growth of social media offers an opportunity to engage a broader geographic area. This study investigates the #MySydney social media campaign undertaken in Sydney, Australia. The #MySydney campaign utilized three social media channels and the Social Pinpoint application to engage Sydney’s citizens during the preparation of district plans. Our examination of the campaign makes the following contributions; Firstly, although the Department prompted the campaign as a conversation with the community, it was more consistent with a branding strategy. Secondly, the case study highlights the difficulties of moderating participation on social media. Thirdly, the response rate per capita was consistently very low. Finally, we demonstrate a weak link between mainstream and social media in this instance.


Journal article

Geographic Coverage


Journal citation

International Planning Studies. Published online


There is a cost of US$43 to obtain a copy of the article.
Abstract included in PLA’s Research Connections article in Parks and Leisure Australia Vol 23.1 Autumn 2020


Due to copyright restrictions, only the abstract is available


Williamson , Wayne (Author)


Taylor and Francis online