Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Collaborative Consumption: Infographic

Posted in Movements, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on July 13th, 2011

Source: Fast Company‘s Co.Design

Infographic by Collaborative

From “Infographic Of The Day: A Tour Guide To Collaborative Consumption” by Morgan Clendaniel:

You might own some tools that you never use, or perhaps you have a backyard that you just don’t have the time to do anything interesting with. Until recently, those pieces of property mostly served as nagging reminders that you didn’t have enough time to do everything you wanted to do. Today, they can look like revenue streams, not wastes of money.

Ideas about ownership of property are slowly starting to change in this country. The success of Zip Car and of bike sharing programs in a few major cities are the vanguard of a host of different “collaborative consumption” services and businesses that allow people to monetize their own unused resources, or to find ways to get goods and services without purchasing them. This infographic shows some of the stuff that might be lying around your house that are just profits waiting to happen — and all the start-ups trying to help you along.

This infographic was made by the venture fund Collaborative–which invests in collaborative consumption businesses–and the Startup America Partnership in order to help illustrate the economic benefits of this idea.

Read the full article by Morgan Clendaniel to find out more about specific start-ups, including Park At My House and TaskRabbit (where you can get paid to assemble other people’s IKEA furniture).

50 Ideas For The New City: Poster Campaign

Posted in Tools, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2011

50 Ideas For The New City, from Urban Omnibus

With this poster campaign, we want to turn the language of ubiquitous marketing — in which every bus, taxi or construction barrier is a canvas for advertising anything and everything — on its head by using a similar language to share examples of creativity and innovation in the urban realm. We want to spread these ideas to the whole city. And we want to hear your new ideas too. So starting next week, (now live!) at you will find 50 ideas for New York already explored on Urban Omnibus and a space for you to share one of your own. We hope, in some small way, we can help re-enchant the urban environment as a landscape of possibility, a realm of action and intention, and a place that represents — and deserves — a long and evolving history of creative ideas.

Read more about the posters and click through each image or blurb to find the essay that led to the idea.

The poster campaign was part of New York’s Festival of Ideas for the New City.

On May 4-8th, the Festival of Ideas for the New City brought artists, designers, politicians and community organizers to downtown Manhattan, infusing the city with a commitment to creativity and dedication to place. Through a string of lectures, panels, workshops, a street fair and over a hundred art installations and openings of cultural projects, the Festival brought to mind a sensibility which first made the neighborhood a forefront for the avant-garde. For four days, a dizzying array of visionary thinkers, makers and practitioners shared ideas and projects that might help articulate what kind of city we want, as well as some concrete examples of how to get there.

Read more about the Festival in this recap by Caitlin Blanchfield.


Chromaroma: Public Transport Game for London

Posted in Models, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on May 26th, 2011

Via Springwise

Chromaroma is a game that shows you your movements and location as you swipe your Oyster Card in and out of the Tube (Bus, Tram and Boat coming soon). It connects communities of people who cross paths and routes on a regular basis, and encourages people to make new journeys and use public transport in a different way by exploring new areas and potentially using different modes of public transport.

At its simplest, Chromaroma is about amassing the most points possible. By watching your own travel details you can investigate interesting new ways to travel and exciting new destinations in order to get more points. Grab “multipliers” and bonus points by working with a team, building up connections with fellow passengers and discovering mysteries that are attached to locations on your routes.

Beyond competition and conquest, Chromaroma’s gameplay opens up the beauty in the city’s transport flows and reveals to its most persistent players some of the mysteries of travel, and even the strange characters travelling through the tunnels in the centre of the system, who may hold the secrets to your city.

I don’t totally understand this game, but mixing up social networking with real-time information and alternative transport use is something we’re pretty interested in at VEIL.  Check out Chromaroma on Vimeo to find out (a little) more. KA

Information Technology Supporting Transparent Future Food Policy

Posted in Movements, Opinion, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on May 13th, 2011

Source: Projects To Finish Someday via Sustainable Cities Collective

From “Information Technology: Coming to a Food Policy Near You” by Mari Pierce-Quinonez:

There are currently dozens of smartphone and internet apps designed to bring good food to tech-savvy consumers. You can now type in your location, the type of food you want and immediately get both directions to the best restaurant to go and the story behind the food they’re serving.  If buying food in bulk to cook at home is more your thing, beta versions of a wholesale purchasing app is now available by invitation.  Or if you want to grow your own, there are applications to aid you in planning your garden, sites to find a yard if you don’t already have one, and mobile apps with maps to fruit-bearing trees on public property.  But the food system is more than foodies finding their next fix: the modern tech-movement goes beyond consumer-oriented apps.  Food advocates and academics are using technology to connect the food system dots and are making good food policy decisions easier.

In the past, federal policymakers kept track of their own program-specific data: how many acres of farmland they had preserved, the nutrition status of the US population, the amount of vitamin D available in a particular type of milk.  By moving everything online and opening this data up to everyone, all sorts of sophisticated policy recommendations can be made.  The USDA’s Food Environment Atlas was released last year to much fanfare for the interactive maps that could show the state of the national food system.  Much more exciting was the fact that this data was all available for download, and the site continues to act as a datahub for food policy advocates.  Advocates and technophiles are using this data to produce reports and visualizations that help rally support as they begin to mobilize around the 2012 farm bill.


Read the full article by Mari Pierce-Quinonez over on Projects To Finish Someday.

Transport Measures Which Change Travel Behaviour: Evidence Review

Posted in Research, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on April 4th, 2011

Source: Eastern Region Public Health Observatory (ERPHO) via Victoria Walks

Soft measures – hard facts: The value for money of transport measures which change travel behaviour: A review of the evidence January 2011

This review of the evidence of travel change behaviour can be used:

  • to help make the case for new investment, in bids or business plans.
  • to inform any re-assessment of existing programmes so that decisions can be based on the best evidence of effectiveness and value.
  • as a benchmark to compare the effectiveness of local programmes with published evaluations and evidence.
  • to encourage more sharing of evidence about what works.
  • to act as a focal point for new evidence, with annual updates.

Key messages include:

  • Travel behaviour change measures can provide very high benefits compared to costs, when measured by WebTAG, the Department for Transport’s method for evaluating transport investment.
  • Changing how we travel can reduce the need for expensive infrastructure.
  • Behaviour change measures can be implemented much more quickly than infrastructure projects.
  • All measures achieve genuine carbon reductions (from 5kgs to 1500 kgs per person per year).
  • Greater impact is achieved from careful targeting of people likely to change their behaviour combined with multi-measure programmes across age groups.

Download the review as a PDF

Source: Eastern Region Public Health Observatory (ERPHO)

Lighter Quicker Cheaper: A Method For Localised Place-Making

Posted in Models, Tools by Kate Archdeacon on March 24th, 2011

Source: Project for Public Spaces (PPS)

Image: Carl MiKoy via flickr CC

From Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: A Low-cost, High-Impact Approach on PPS:
As cities struggle to do more with less and people everywhere cry out for places of meaning and beauty, we have to find fast, creative, profitable ways to capitalize on local ingenuity and turn public spaces into treasured community places.

Interestingly, many of the best, most authentic and enduring destinations in a city, the places that keep locals and tourists coming back again and again and that anchor quality, local jobs, were born out of a series of incremental, locally-based improvements. One by one, these interventions built places that were more than the sum of their parts.

The time is right to rethink the way that we do development, using an approach called “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC). This approach is based on taking incremental steps, using low-cost experiments, and tapping into local talents (e.g. citizens, entrepreneurs, developers, and city staff). These smaller-scale projects are being implemented in a variety of environments, including on streets, squares, waterfronts, and even parking lots.

The Benefits of an LQC Approach

LQC projects quickly translate a community’s vision into reality and keep momentum moving. Ideas can be efficiently implemented, assessed, then tweaked and customized based upon a community’s response. Although a lighter, quicker, cheaper approach is not for every situation, it can be a creative, locally-powered alternative to capital-heavy, top-down planning. Lighter, quicker, cheaper projects:

  • Transform underused spaces into exciting laboratories that citizens can start using right away and see evidence that change can happen.
  • Represent an “action planning process” that builds a shared understanding of a place that goes far beyond the short term changes that are made.
  • Leverage local partnerships that have greater involvement by a community and results in more authentic places.
  • Encourage an iterative approach and an opportunity to experiment, assess, and evolve a community’s vision before launching into major construction and a long term process.
  • Employ a place-by-place strategy that, over time, can transform an entire city. With community buy-in, the LQC approach can be implemented across multiple scales to transform under-performing spaces throughout an entire city.


Using Placemaking and a Lighter Quicker Cheaper Approach to Create the City of the Future

LQC offers the potential to create profound positive change in the future of cities around the world. By changing the way we think about development to include small scale, incremental changes, an immediate impact can be made on local economies, transportation, architecture and in how destinations are created.


Click through to read the rest of this excellent article from Project for Public Spaces. It goes on to explore (with real-world examples) Public Markets and Local Economies, Building Communities through Transportation, Creating Public Multi-Use Destinations, Toward An Architecture of Place.  (An Australian example referred to in the article is Renew Newcastle.)