When you think about government, you think about a lot of things. Taxes, parking tickets, police. Government touches each of our lives in ways we may not even notice. But if there’s one thing government isn’t known for it is openness, engagement, and efficiency. A one way dialogue has kept the public voice muted and progressive technologies that can deliver much needed change at bay.
Hoping to assuage complaints of the learning curve occasionally inherent in GIS software, TileMill, hit the market this past month promising gorgeous custom maps. The new full-featured map design studio is based on open source technology and funded in part by The Knight Foundation.
QR codes, lauded as the next new thing since the mid-1990’s, have finally met with their fifteen minutes of fame. Early adopters are well-aware of QR codes, but only in the last year or so has the general public started noticing those black and white squares popping up on magazine pages and offline advertising.
Learning about urban planning policies can be as exciting as learning the tax code. All too often, community members are left scratching their heads about policy issues that seem esoteric and disconnected from their daily experiences.
International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) is a worldwide network of city officials, practitioners, and scholars in architecture, urban design, planning, and urban affairs, health and social sciences, and the arts.
If information isn’t flowing freely between government entities and the general public, a complete breakdown in communication renders the best policies and most savvy tools virtually worthless. The Knight Foundation refers to this flow of information as a community’s information ecosystem because a symbiotic relationship must be formed between all entities.
While technology trends continue to predict increased mobility, one must ponder the question: Is it really necessary to be tethered to our hand-held devices? Granted, it would already seem that we are. But Lewis Shepherd of Sector: Public dares to imagine an alternate, yet entirely realistic future where being ‘wired-in’ may not require physical wires.
For me creativity and engagement go hand in hand; the engaging city is a creative city. And by creative city I don’t only think of the creative industries but a wider definition of creativity as an ability to make; making art, making things happen and making a difference.