Looking for a Kickstart: City Design Method Cards
Lisa Nisenson, co-founder of Greater Places, recently announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to support the development of City Design Method Cards.
City Design Method Cards are designed to provide a portable conversation starter (available in print and as a mobile app) to help raise the level of awareness about the objects and ideas involved in the city design and planning process.
The team at Greater Places, along with Do Think DC, is also the creative genius behind the Cards Against Urbanity game that shot to instant popularity when released in 2014. As detailed in a 2015 article in Next City, Greater Places applied the lessons learned from Cards Against Urbanity in the hopes of creating a new, more positive (i.e., less satirical) product. Voilà: the City Design Method Cards.
As Nisenson explains in the video announcing the Kickstarter campaign: "Millions of people step up to the city design table each week. People from civic associations, the public works department, the mayor, PTAs, engineering firms, architects, homeowners' associations, chambers of commerce." According to Nisenson, however, all those potential participants are challenged by the lack of a centralized and comprehensive resource for learning and understanding more about city design. "None of those resources we have are engaging or visual or organized, and they don't meet people where they are on the learning curve," explains Nisenson.
The City Design Method Cards aims to fulfill that badly needed role for all kinds of potential city designers. Included on the menu of City Design Methods are general terms like Planning Methods, Parking, and Economic Development, along with more buzz-friendly terms like Tactical Urbanism and Resilience. As an example of cards explaining specific examples of each of those City Design Methods comprise the deck, the project's Kickstarter page displays an image of the Bioswales card from the Green Infrastructure City Design Method.
The Kickstarter launched yesterday, March 15, and offers the traditional menu of support options—varying from $5 to $4,800. Delivery is anticipated for October 2016. Future refinements include the possibility of locally relevant examples and other features that expand the power of the deck and the platform.