I am a big fan of Jane McGonigal’s idea to create platforms, such as games, in order to involve everyone into solving global problems. Similarly, but on a much smaller scale, we should start developing models for community sourcing solutions to local problems, needs, and developments - an approach I would definitely like to see become widespread in the future. In order for this to happen, we need well-designed platforms that help to actively involve citizens, efficiently collect and organize their ideas and process them into applicable solutions.
"By the City/For the City" is one such platform created by The Institute for Urban Design and Project for Public Spaces, that invites everyone to share their ideas about ways to improve New York City - from local issues like streetscapes and parks all the way up to big systems like transportation and garbage disposal. The site asks you "How would you make NYC's public spaces greater?" and then structures your response in the form of: "Wouldn't it be great if... Where? ... So that people could... Because I want the city to be..." The community then votes for the best ideas while appointed designers will try to make them happen for real.
Projects like this are a great way to provoke citizens to look at their community from a fresh perspective and uncover its hidden potential. I'm also curious to see this model applied to more specific problems and with the help of different kinds of platforms. Please share examples that you know of.
You can submit ideas for "By the City/For the City" until May 8th and vote until May 16.
photo by laughing squid