Watercooler: Engaging Publicly, Speaking Openly

Heres a glimpse into what we’ve discussing here in OpenPlans office

+We launch Beautiful.st a hot-or-not type site to judge streets on their streetiness.  Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so tell us what you think.

Rethinking Public Engagement:  Social media can and will change the public engagement process.  But just what will it look like? How do new tools get deployed to meaningfully inform public engagement and is the public ready to embrace them?

+ Street vendors are going vertical. Dispatch by Jeff Maki at the Starret-Lehigh Building in Chelsea. “The building has a freight elevator big enough to accomidate entire delivery trucks (so when you get freight delivered, the truck comes to you–not the goods alone).  The building managers have adapted that to also include food trucks–since the building has no cafeteria, the food trucks come up to certain floors, and the people on those and other floors go to the truck they want to visit–pretty cool idea!”

+Jerrymandermuch? New York State’s first re-districting in the new age of mapping.  Check out the new district lines that the NYS Republican party  has proposed for 2012.  Side by side to the current districts.  If a picture tells 1000 words, this tells 1000 lies and backdoor deals.

+ Another crooked and Republican-influenced mapping efforts: NICE Nassau Intercounty Express released it’s first system map.  What do you think of it?

+ What Taxis add to Public Transit:  A visualization of Taxi hails and drop offs.  The city breathes as it takes in new passengers and exhales them, ina suprisingly regular daily pattern.  Check out the visualization here

New York City Taxi Activity from Juan Francisco Saldarriaga on Vimeo.

+ “Will it make things SAFER?” (emphasis not ours) The Daily Mail asks of Britain’s newest and longest “clutter-free” street. featuring few bollards, no nanny state signs, no “kerbs”, just a level surface from building frontage to building frontage to enforce the idea that, by design, the street is a shared space and drivers should proceed with caution.  We say, “It will most definitely make it safer!”  (exclamation point ours).

+ Plug for Jarret Walker and his new book Human Transit, and eponymous blog.  Great lecture at City College on Feb 6.  Best practices, talking points and arguments when discussions on what transit is and what it’s supposed to do arise.

+ This visualization show Broadway is still the spine of New York City.

+ Whadsdamatta you? Brooklyn relies on transit .

+ The kids in Edison-bulb Williamsburg, promoting its new bike team, released this video.

Buy your uniforms at Freeman’s Sporting Club

To end on a bombshell, check out the movie about the implosion that killed modernim.  The Pruittt-Igoe Myth at IFC Center