Developments in information and communication technologies affects city administration in all areas. Municipalities in countries around the work increasingly provide information about governaance, services anf finances to their residents, aiming at achieving effiency, speed, low cost and active participation. In this study, a content analysis is performed by comparing the web presence of two municipalities: Heidelberg in Germany and Konya in Turkey.
Although there are important similarities between the web pages of the two cities regarding introduction, interaction/democracy and e-services, there are also important differences. Although Konya is nearly seven times bigger than Heidelberg in population, it is fair to say that Heidelberg’s online presence is far ahead of Konya. Whereas Konya’s website focuses presenting general information and headlines on its website, Heidelberg provides links and information aimed at serving institutions and individuals from almost every sector in the city, as its website provides information on different aspects of municipal government, including information on different democratic, economic, social, cultural and political aspects.
This determination is valid not only for Konya, but also for the e-presence of many of local governments in developing and transition countries. Although municipalities around the world increasingly have their own websites, which are built in a highly effective way in terms of the introduction of cities and mayors, they are relatively reserved and slow in providing information on democratic processes and urban services.
However, as it can be seen from advanced examples such as the city of Heidelberg, there are numerous services and information that e-cities can offer. There are almost unlimited opportunities to promote political, economic, social and cultural inclusion within a city through an online presence in order to contribute to the development of the city. It is necessary for cities around the world to seriously focus on these opportunities.
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M. Akif Çukurçayir and H. Tuba Erolu. 2010. E-Cities: A Content Analysis of the Web Pages of Heidelberg and Konya Metropolitan Municipalities. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences 2(1): 7-12, 2010.