Toward a City that Thinks like the Web

Canadian activists are rejoicing that Vancouver City Council has passed a resolution calling for open source open standards and open data.  
Open source breakthroughs and online participation  are rich analogies for what needs to happen if location-based communities are to survive and thrive. Let’s hope that turf-guarding experts among our bureaucrats can open up a little and learn the joys of open sourcing collaboration. 
A City That Thinks Like the Web, a must-see slide show by Mozilla Foundtion Executive Director Mark Surman, get the idea across very well.  
Here’s the impact that blogger David Eaves sees on the horizon for Vancouver:
1. New services and applications: That as data is opened up, shared and has  APIs published for it, our citizen coders will create web based applications that will make their lives – and the lives of other citizens – easier, more efficient, and more pleasant.
2. Tapping into the long tail of public policy analysis: As more and more Vancouverites look over the city’s data, maps and other pieces of information citizens will notice inefficiencies, problems and other issues that could save money, improve services and generally make for a stronger better city.
3. Create new businesses and attract talent: As the city shares more data and uses more open source software new businesses that create services out of this data and that support this software will spring up. More generally, I think this motion, over time could attract talent to Vancouver. Paul Graham once said that great programmers want great tools and interesting challenges. We are giving them both. The challenge of improving the community in which they live and the tools and data to help make it better.
Canadian activists welcomed the news that the Vancouver City Council has passed a resolution calling for far-reaching open source, open standards and open data.  
Open source breakthroughs and online participation  are rich analogies for what needs to happen if location-based communities are to survive and thrive. Let’s hope that turf-guarding experts among our bureaucrats can open up a little and learn the joys of open sourcing collaboration. openess
 
 
 
 
 
A City That Thinks Like the Web, the must-see slide show by Mozilla Foundtion Executive Director Mark Surman, gets these ideas across very well.  (Original narrated version here.)
As for the impact of these changes, here’s what blogger David Eaves sees on the horizon for Vancouver:
1. New services and applications: That as data is opened up, shared and has  APIs published for it, our citizen coders will create web based applications that will make their lives – and the lives of other citizens – easier, more efficient, and more pleasant.
2. Tapping into the long tail of public policy analysis: As more and more Vancouverites look over the city’s data, maps and other pieces of information citizens will notice inefficiencies, problems and other issues that could save money, improve services and generally make for a stronger better city.
3. Create new businesses and attract talent: As the city shares more data and uses more open source software new businesses that create services out of this data and that support this software will spring up. More generally, I think this motion, over time could attract talent to Vancouver. Paul Graham once said that great programmers want great tools and interesting challenges. We are giving them both. The challenge of improving the community in which they live and the tools and data to help make it better.
 
Portland online?  Or Portland open sourced?   The city’s already has the street cred; Mike Rogoway uncovered it on the front page of The Oregonian.  Now this collaborative openess needs to permeate City Hall and the bureaus.
Advertisements

One response to “Toward a City that Thinks like the Web

  1. Since I get comments on Twitter, Facebook and Linked in, let me add one from Dan Knauss of New Local Media.

    Says Dan, “I think your assumptions are a bit off if you think of ‘location-based communities’ as optional or one of several kinds of communities that need ‘help’ of some kind. The web is localizing and devirtualizing. All communities are location-based; the web does not make you omnipresent–it makes you a shared GPS coordinate firing off messages and info to different groups, including the locals you know and are discovering and meeting at the corner cafe.”

    Dan also sent along a link to New York’s Open Planning Project, which fostered TriMet’s use of open source.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s