Tracking City Issues Through Read/Write Urbanism

Adam Greenfield looks at issue tracking systems for cities, and suggests that they can be taken a step farther by adding unique identifiers to urban infrastructure that automatically notifies city systems when problems arise.

"No issue-tracking system, even the best-designed and most cleverly devised, is going to quash the frustrations of city life completely. I believe, though, that the system I sketch out here would give cities a supple and relatively low-cost way to close the loop between Jacobian "eyes on the street," and the agencies that serve and are fully empowered to respond to them. What I've described here is, if nothing else, a way to harness the experience and rich local expertise of ordinary citizens.

But what if we took a single step further out? What if we imagined that the citizen-responsiveness system we've designed lives in a dense mesh of active, communicating public objects? Then the framework we've already deployed becomes something very different. To use another metaphor from the world of information technology, it begins to look a whole lot like an operating system for cities."

He calls this "read/write urbanism", and suggests that it could greatly enhance the way cities address urban issues.

Full Story: Frameworks for Citizen Responsiveness: Towards a Read/Write Urbanism


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