The kind of program a city is
I’m not, in general, a “wisdom of crowds” guy. For every gorgeously elegant distributed search of possibility space you can name, I could cite one or more irrational, mindbendingly stupid, or merely time- and resource-wasteful clusterfucks. (And when I hear the word “crowdsourcing,” well…that’s when I reach for my revolver.)
Nevertheless, given both a crisply circumscribed problem and the right kind of community, the approach can and does work; Ask MetaFilter seems to do pretty well, for example, under the right circumstances. Given that you guys are nothing if not knowledgeable, then, and that what I have on tap is a pretty specific question, I thought I might give the following a try – as a way to do an end-run around my own blindspots and prejudices, if nothing else.
I ask you: what do you feel are the most significant contemporary developments in urban informatics? The most resonant projects, the most powerful interventions, the scariest precedents?
Cast as wide a net as you please in answering. I surely have my own answers, and of course I’ll be laying them on the table, in abundant detail. But I want this book to be multivocal, as much so as any real city, and it cannot be that if the sole things covered in its pages are the projects, plans and personalities that coincide with my own prior suppositions.
To cite just one example, my (and the book’s) vision of the “digital urban” has surprisingly little overlap with that pursued here. Yet the book won’t be worth very much if it doesn’t address and engage that perspective too. So go wild. I need to know what you’re imagining when you hear the words “urban computing.”