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This paper presents the approach and tools created to critically investigate the roles and relationships among city stakeholders regarding data-related processes, in order to inform future design solutions for open data portals. The approach to explore the relational dimension of data in local activities is based on mapping the operational roles of the organizations involved in the city data ecosystem throughout a set of archetypes readapted from the characters found in Propp's theory on the narrative structure. A probes toolkit associated with storytelling techniques helped to test the proposed approach during a workshop organized in the city of Milton Keynes. The authors present their motivations and constraints, as well as the rationale regarding the definition of the approach and the construction of the toolkit as part of a design-oriented strategy of inquiry, and discuss the insights gained in the testing experience.
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