By: BCRAstaff

Digital Citizen Planning

Trending to our recent post regarding Chicago schools involving their students in design - we are intrigued with this new perspective to involve the greater public in the planning process! Gothenburg, Sweden is getting locals involved with a interactive and photorealistic 3D map that residents can use to drop in suggestions and ideas for improving their city. What a way to really know how residents currently utilize communities and involve them as a stakeholder in the process! Via the Atlantic Cities: 

"MinStad, or "MyCity," is a localized version of Google Earth where residents can zoom in and around the city to identify places where better transit access is needed, or where additional housing should go, or even where a dilapidated building should be torn down. With a population of more than 500,000, Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and it's actively trying to get more of its citizens involved in thinking about how the city should evolve.

The map highlights 10 specific neighborhoods, though the entire metropolitan area is included. Categories include walk, public transport, sporting, living, cycling, work, swimming, eat, nature, preserve, culture, sunbathing, and tear down, and suggestions so far have run the gamut. More than 200 have already been added since the site went public at the end of May.

In addition to posting their own ideas, users are invited to comment on and like the suggestions of others. So far the most "liked" idea – improving pedestrian access to the Låghöjds Bridge – has only five explicit supporters and one comment. The second most-liked idea is to extend a light rail line and link it with a tram.

Other suggestions include adding residential units to what's currently industrial space near the river, replacing the parking at a square with a public market, and preserving and activating the water channels leading to the port. Users can even import 3D models to help visualize their ideas, like this proposal for an amphitheater at the end of a large dock.
The site will be available until September, and officials are hoping more residents will contribute ideas to help guide future planning."

What do you think? Does an public driven online-charette open the floodgates? Do you think as a planner it will become a constructive or controversial tool?

*Images courtesy MinStad & Article via Nate Berg/the Atlantic Cities


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