The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities published a report on digital and media literacy needs. Their findings may speak to some of the opportunities and limitations of using technology-based civic participation tools.
New York University announced a new community visioning tool called Betaville. It sounds like it has potential as a multi-stakeholder open source visualization and planning tool. The key questions (as always) include: what’s the learning curve and implementation costs, what are the data requirements, how well does it work in an actual multi-stakeholder planning process? The Rebuilding Place in the Urban Spaces blog offers some words of caution about Betaville and about technology-based tools in general.
The City Fix posts about a cool new mobility mapping tool called Mapnificent designed to illustrate how far you can travel from a specific point within a specific time period on foot and using public transit. It’s not hard to imagine how a tool like this might be helpful in community planning, especially if someone figures out how to link this with visualization or modeling tools making it easy to project how mobility would change under different policy and investment scenarios.
The Transportationist had a nice post a few weeks back about the challenge of designing for customers when the customers themselves often don’t know quite what they want.
Planetizen has a roundup of the some of the best toys and games for budding young urban planners. We do mean the young ones.