Yesterday, the White House unveiled its new e-petitions platform. The online petition system, designed to generate response from the federal government, allows users to trade their name and email address for the chance to create an online petition.
It’s generally agreed that walkable streets, neighbourhoods and cities are a good thing. Walkable areas produce a whole range of benefits that include less obesity and healthier residents, boosting property values and the economy, fewer traffic accidents, reduced CO2 emissions and maybe even more people walking!
A recent study released by Pew Research Center on the use of mobile and social location-based services, confirmed that almost six out of ten of smartphone owners use a geosocial or a location-based information service of some kind these days.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently said that there is no longer a “Ground Zero” in Lower Manhattan. The mayor is right: the World Trade Center site has been a construction hub for more than half a decade. In this same spirit, New York’s political and business leaders should stop saying that the city is “repairing” or “restoring” its skyline, language that obscures what al-Qaida terrorists took—permanently—from New York ten years ago.
Recently, John Hamilton, the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, New Zealand, spoke about the Canterbury earthquakes at the National Board meeting of Neighbourhood Support. John was effusive in his praise for the “personal fortitude” of Cantabrians and the resilience of their communities. Their response has negated the myth of weak neighbourhood spirit prevalent in pre-quake discourse. The tragic impacts of the earthquakes have strengthened community engagement and communication.
In recent years, government sponsored hack-a-thons have become a highly utilized form of software development for a diverse number of industries - the field of urban planning is no exception to this ‘peer production’ type of approach. These contests and challenges are popping up everywhere. One such example of this is Oregon’s City Council Agenda App, designed to to encourage dialog between local City government and residents. While applications produced by government challenges such as these are some of the most innovative and creative online engagement tools available to city planners, unfortunately many are quickly abandoned.
As mutual advocates of issues central to the future of cities, Next American City is just one of the resources that EngagingCities staff refers to from time to time in search of the top trends and tools related to socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth in America’s cities. Recently, Next American City Magazine published a comprehensive list of best apps, websites and software for enhancing and improving urban life. The list included tools affiliated with everything from city governance, mapping and transportation, to “living well”. Our favorites are...
Reset San Francisco is an online news source and both online and offline community that strives to bring San Franciscans together around important city issues. With the opening line, “If you could Reset San Francisco, where would you start?” the site frames San Franciscans’ thinking around ways that the city can be improved. Whether it is MUNI’s almost periodic meltdowns or the Board of Supervisors’ push to disintegrate successful social programs such as Care Not Cash, Reset San Francisco wants to know what citizens care about.
What if there was a tool for developing local public transport improvement plans that helped explain complicated, traffic concepts to the everyday common citizen who actually is most likely to use public transportation? BusMeister was created with this in mind and is now available in beta.
A team led by Planisphere was recently engaged to undertake an Enquiry by Design to provide direction for one of the most economically challenged suburban areas in the State of Victoria, Australia. Structural reforms to the Australian economy that have been ongoing since the late 20th century have hit particularly hard in regions that are reliant on manufacturing, leaving areas like Corio-Norlane behind despite generally positive economic progress across the nation.