The Web 2.0 represents a new way to communicate, collect data and access all types of data and information online. It places full value in the 'wisdom of the crowd', recognizing the real-time contributions and knowledge individual users of the Web can contribute. To contrast this, formal planning is incremental and methodological.
The actualized and potential application of emerging Web 2.0 tools and technologies in the food and agricultural planning context in southern Ontario forms the basis for this major research paper. Through qualitative analysis of several online initiatives, I seek to determine how and where user-generated data and information (collected and distributed by agricultural producers and consumers and not just by planners, other government officials) can fit into the formal planning process through new ways of collaboration and online engagement.
Ultimately, much of the leadership around Web 2.0 comes from informal networks or non-governmental organizations organizing around food and agricultural production. Planners working in formal institutional settings must continue to understand the niche that these tools can play in their own engagement efforts and determine how best to use the vast wealth of average citizens' food and agricultural knowledge increasingly available online.