In Denver, PlaceMatters and local pedestrian advocacy group WalkDenver are using OpenPlans’ Shareabouts to power WALKscope, a crowdsourcing tool to gather data about walkability. They want to engage Denver residents in a dialogue about walkability, as well as create an inventory of street infrastructure — sidewalk conditions, intersections, pedestrian counts — to help make the case for improvements.
Brad Barnett, Director of the Decision Lab at PlaceMatters gave us some feedback about the tool, following a mobile workshop at the recent New Partners for Smart Growth conference.
“In the early iterations of the tool’s usage, the following feedback was most consistent:
pictures are a huge benefit for folks
participants reported that neighborhood residents would often ask them what they were doing, which led to opportunities to discuss walkability and offers by several residents to also get involved.
the responsive design of Shareabouts is one of the biggest advantages; several folks commented on how easy it was to use on their phone.
for smaller non-profits like WalkDenver and neighborhood organizations, the fact that the tool has been low cost to use over a sustained period of time was important, because it gave them enough confidence to really invest in training their volunteers on using it effectively.
“Longer term, we’re hoping to continue refining WALKscope and related public engagement efforts based on continued feedback and assessment. PlaceMatters will also work with WalkDenver to analyze the data collected, and create more customized visualizations that help tell the story of what the data is telling us.
“On a personal/tech nerd note, I really appreciate the documentation efforts of the OpenPlans team. Support is always a tricky thing with open source tools, and Shareabouts has been one of the most enjoyable tools I’ve deployed in our projects (and we use a lot of tools!) because of the team behind it.”
At OpenPlans, we’re always happy to see our tools used by other organizations–that’s one advantage of open source.
If you’d like to work with us to use Shareabouts, we offer a monthly subscription. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you gather public input and use it in your projects.
Developers, if you’d like to try Shareabouts on your own, get started here.