Will the red-hot microblogging platform Twitter change the way we live in our cities, how we call for help in an emergency, or even help rally a group to topple the city's government? Or is it a frivolous technology that simply atomizes our thoughts and relationships into 140-character bits?
Usually planners get involved in the allocation and details of creating both public and private spaces for groups of people engaged in a wide range of variety of activities.
What can we as planners learn from president-elect Barak Obama's use of technology?
President-elect Obama has been an early adopter of Web 2.0 technologies both in his campaign and the transition to the White House. It is likely that the Obama administration will continue to use Web 2.0 technologies to both engage the public in determining policies and to make government operations more transparent.
As planners, there are a lot of great tools and techniques that we can use in the planning processes. Here are some of the tools that the Obama team have used that could be used in planning.
Here in New York City, there is an incredibly popular burger stand in Madison Square Park called The Shake Shack. It's one of the touchpoints for Silicon Alley, and a great meet-up spot. The problem is that its usually insanely crowded, with an hour-long line stretching well across the park.
Not to be defeated, Silicon Alley geeks created the Shake Shack Twitter Bot, which serves as a sort of chat room for people to report wait times at the Shake Shack. It's a few dozen lines of code that leverages Web 2.0 technology to make the city smarter, more efficient, and more fun.