These sparsely attended public meetings (two at this point) have devoted more time to presentations than to listening, and of course, as is usually the way, only those brave enough to speak into a microphone have contributed. Ultimately several citizens went ballistic about the lack of an authentic opportunity to participate in the process, and so what looked to be an exciting opportunity for the town could well go down in flames, not because of the merits of the project but because of bad process.
I bet this sounds familiar to people all over the country. Indeed, this scenario is far too common and its results far too predictable.
We are living in a time of radical openness—not of our governments, but of ourselves.
As we willingly open more of our lives to the public, government agencies are increasing their surveillance of us and also failing for the most part to take full advantage of digital technologies' ability to make public life more accessible and our public officials more accountable.
Yesterday, after having the app for a few weeks, I actually used Periscope for the first time. I’d been sat watching and reading all about it and its competitor, Meerkat but decided not to take the plunge until I fully understood what it was about. I wanted to make my first use of the app worthwhile but also to give me an understanding of how I could use it in my community engagement work.
I got together with some other Jakarta-based innovators to try and solve this issue. Our desire is for Jakarta commuters to better utilize these forgotten “rat-running trails” hidden behind Jakarta’s imposing network of wide, busy roads and high-rise buildings. The concept for Squee mobile app was born out of this desire.
Rising ninth-grader Demond Fortenberry opened his first city data set: “Use of Force” records created by the Public Integrity Bureau at the New Orleans Police Department. As part of a three-day event engaging youth to build apps on top of soon-to-be released policing data sets, he was one of the first New Orleanians to ever see these records.
With just 10 hours of coding class under his belt, Demond cautiously scrolled through the data. Horizontally and vertically. He read out the attributes as he went.
Sydney is now using the world's first outdoor e-ink traffic signs to guide motorists during special events. The city's Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) agency was apparently fed up with the constant chore of changing signs, and developed the tech with a company called Visionect. Like your Kindle, the signs are easy to read in Sydney's bright sunshine, which also powers it via solar panels. There's a light for nighttime usage, and the messages can be updated remotely via a cell connection to an "internet of things" network.