The first global crowdsourced placemaking chat

On May 27, 2009 a group of people committed to crowdsourced placemaking held the first crowdsourced placemaking chat to see how the participants could work together nationally and internationally to help one another bring to reality the kinds of places we’d like to see built. See the word cloud of the chat above (click on it for larger image), and check out the transcript of the chat.

Some of the chat participants included:

Daren Brabham, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, heading up a research project called Next Stop Design to try crowdsourcing as a way to design bus stops. The project is federally funded.

Marco Castroni, architect from Lausanne, Switzerland, involved in Espace Coworking Lausanne and member of a green development crowdsourcing group, Ecoquartier.

Reuben Teague, a real estate developer working on a crowdsourcing project in New Orleans in a neighborhood called Broadmoor, via Destination Broadmoor, looking at how to bring more neighborhood commercial into a residential-dominated area that has returned with force post-Katrina.

A couple of summary points:

– The first phase of crowdsourced placemaking involves brainstorming and getting everyone to input anything and everything, then filtering it. This can be a global campaign, and a tool like Next Stop Design is valuable. The second phase, ‘OK, now what? How do we implement this?’ needs to be face-face, and local. As one participant put it, “global thinking, local implementation.”

– We talked about how to get more diversity in the group. Women seemed to be more comfortable in the second phase, not so much the first phase, and we felt it had a lot to do with having too heavy a focus on a technical mindset in the first phase.

– The group decided that the one tool we could share around the world involves the first phase of providing an international brainstorming and filtering website for people to submit their favorite places, scenes and events, from a point of view of providing inspiration to crowdsource the spirit of them somewhere else. We’ll look to have that up in a few months.