Translated title: Changing neighbourhoods in times of digital networking: Exploration study on the impact of digital media with a reference to social cohesion and local participation in neighbourhoods
Digital media offer the possibility to network and exchange across the world. However, this development has often been associated with a loss of local significance. For some time now, a diverse range of digital neighbourhood platforms and media with a social space focus have been growing in Germany, with the aim of bringing people together and indicating to a need for local networking. So far, however, little is known about who uses these platforms and the motivation behind their use. There is also a lack of empirical research on the implications of these media for social coexistence and their influence on civil society structures and local participation.
The explorative research project Vernetzte Nachbarn (“Connected Neighbours“) was started in order to close this knowledge gap. The main question was how digital (neighbourhood) platforms affect social interaction in neighbourhoods. Three sub questions were examined systematically and in depth:
- Who do digital (neighbourhood) platforms typically reach?
- How do digital (neighbourhood) platforms contribute to community building and social cohesion in neighbourhoods?
- How do digital (neighbourhood) platforms affect local democracy?
The final report serves as the synthesis of the project results and was also published as a web-compatible version: www.vernetzte-nachbarn.de.