Civic Participation and Urban Communication Practices

Project description:

The "Civic Participation and Urban Communication Practices" project is assigned to the subproject "Materiality and Significance of Urban Communication Practices" in the BMBF research network "The Digital City (DIGISTA)".


The goal of this communication science project is to trace the digital media and communication practices through which Augsburg’s citizens experience the city and participate in the local context.

In line with this goal, the guiding question in the subproject is:

  • Which digital media, platforms, and applications are used by city residents and local actors for civic participation and communication, and which everyday communication practices can be observed in dealing with these media?

The theoretical approach is based on research on mediatization, which assumes that there will be a quantitative and qualitative increase in the significance of mediatized communication practices, as well as an increasing penetration of the lifeworld by media (see e.g. Krotz 2001, 2007, 2017, Livingstone 2009 and Couldry/Hepp 2017). The integration of (digital) media technologies into the city is conceived as part of the ongoing process of data validation in all social sub-sectors. A further theoretical building block is work on media-mediated participation and social involvement (e.g. Carpentier 2012). It is assumed that participation in urban spaces and the experience of the city is to a large extent media-mediated. Both intended and emergent forms of political participation and involvement are of interest here. Local media are included in the study, specifically in the context of emerging practices. On the level of theory development, the goal is to develop a theoretical concept that can explain how the use of digital media technologies in everyday urban life constitutes forms of local public spheres or local public spaces.


Empirically, the project will be implemented in a mixed-methods design, which combines standardized and qualitative content analysis with problem-centred interviews and participant observation.





Current Publications:

Wimmer, Jeffrey, Nagler, Gregor, & Wolf, Barbara (2021). Augsburger Plätze im Wandel. Augsburg: Universität Augsburg. Online verfügbar unter   


Schweiger, Moritz; Wimmer, Jeffrey; Nagler, Gregor; Schlagowski, Ruben (2021): Augmenting the city. The photo-realistic animation of a historic building and its influence on spatial perception and meaning. In: International Journal of Film and Media Arts 6 (2), S. 107–128. Online verfügbar unter  


Nitschke, Paula; Schweiger, Moritz (2021): Alltagspraktiken digitaler Teilhabe in Nachbarschaft und Stadt. In: M&K 69 (3), S. 363–379. DOI:


Gentzel, Peter; Nitschke, Paula; Wimmer, Jeffrey (2020): Integration durch digitale Urbanität? Die Digitale Stadt als Forschungsfeld der Kommunikationswissenschaft. Unter Mitarbeit von Volker Gehrau, Annie Waldherr, Armin Scholl und Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Publizistik- Und Kommunikationswissenschaft E.V. 



© University of Augsburg


Senior Researcher and Teaching Associate
Media Reality
Media Reality