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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

World Wide Wednesday: Open source planning, test cities, Change by Us

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Each week we will be focusing on blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.

• According to the International Federation of Surveyors, approximately 70% of urban growth occurs outside of formal planning channels. Researchers at MIT have recently released an open source urban planning software to help reduce inefficiencies resulting from haphazard planning. (Fast Company)

• Place Pulse, another planning software platform out of MIT Media Labs, is also making waves. The platform uses a “hot or not” set-up, asking users to identify which of two images appears to be the safest environment. The data collected allows administrators to better understand collective perceptions of space. (Pop-Up City)

• It’s hard to believe that with whole neighbourhoods foreclosed, US company Pegasus Global Holdings is moving forward on a plan to create a test city in New Mexico. The centre, which won’t have a permanent population, will be used as a testing ground for new technologies such as smart grids and next generation wireless networks. (Albuquerque Journal)

• Local Projects and CEOs for Cities have partnered up to change the face of public engagement in America. Their project, Change by Us, connects citizens with ideas to real projects tackling all sorts of local issues. Jake Barton, founder of Local Projects puts it this way: “It’s a way of reinventing public participation. Cities are about shared goals and common interests, and we have created a platform around that concept, creating a social networking platform for civic activity.” (Government Technology)

Image from Fast Company

Do you have a World Wide Wednesday worthy article you’d like to share? Send the link to