New Platform Aims to Be a Facebook for Cities

Claire Thompson profiles Neighborland, an online urban planning platform that aims to promote organic conversations that can build momentum and facilitate connections around improvement projects.
April 5, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Born out of a project started by artist Candy Chang in New Orleans in 2010, Neighborland has aspects in common with existing participatory platforms such as Mindmixer and Change by Us, but sees itself as offering a unique service.

According to Alan Williams, Neighborland's director of community, "What's different about Neighborland is we're trying to build support for existing ecosystems," Williams says. "We didn't want to create a separate community, we wanted to provide a tool for the existing community. For almost every idea someone has about their neighborhood, somebody's already working to make that change happen."

"Neighborland serves as a forum to collect those ideas and, with Williams' help, direct them to the people with the power to make them reality," writes Thompson.

"The platform provides a concrete, but continuously evolving, record of the needs and desires residents have for their neighborhoods," and makes it easier for public officials to track the wishes of their constituents.

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Published on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in Grist
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