Crowdsourced City: 14 Citizen-Directed Urban Projects

PlacePulse: Mapping Urban Perceptions

Crowdsourced City Place Pulse

What makes a place feel safe, vibrant, active, unique, central or family friendly? The makers of Place Pulse aim to find out through user participation. The site presents images side-by-side and asks users to rate them with questions like ‘Which place looks more beautiful?’ The images are from cities around the world and provide researchers with data that can be used to study the association between urban perception and other datasets like violent crime, creativity and economic growth.

The Crowdsourced #BetterCities Movement

Crowdsourced Cities BetterCities

What do you want to change about your city? The #BetterCities movement is another crowdsourcing project asking citizens to contribute constructive ways to make the city a better place to live. With the motto “Don’t just live in the city, live for the city,” the project started with guerrilla public interventions like modified bus stops that encouraged dialogue about public transport. The project started in Kuala Lumpur and expanded to Singapore – where else could it go?

Using Tourist Photos to Shape 3D Cities

Crowdsourced City Urban Shape

How else can the public be used to shape a city? This novel approach compiles tourist snapshots to create 3D models of well-photographed places. Researchers at the University of Washington’s GRAIL lab mined Flickr for shots of various cities to download images with a certain tag and match them up based on common points to create a large 3D pictures, compiling lots of information in a short period of time.

Crowdmapping City Problem Areas

Crowdsourced Cities Problem Areas

What are Beijing’s problem areas for pedestrians and cyclists? A project developed by the Beijing Transport Research Center and the World Bank aimed to find out exactly which areas transportation planners should be paying attention to. Anyone can submit a mini report on issues related to cycling and walking infrastructure through the website, smart phone apps, SMS or social media. These user-generated reports are then mapped and visualized, and made available for public discussion.

MyIdealCity: Crowdsourced Plan to Redesign a City in South America

Crowdsourced Cities IdealCity

My Ideal City is a collaboration between several partners to redevelop the city of Bogota, Colombia based on user input. Each week, W Radio in Bogota and discussed trends around the future of the city, asking audiences to respond to questions via Twitter and on Suggestions are reviewed by an architect and urban planner to see how they could materialize in the real world. If the project is successful, it could be extended to other cities around the world.