Give A Minute For A Better City

‘Give a Minute’ is a fresh online crowd-sourcing platform that aims to improve cities. It features questions and issues posed by various city leaders and encourages urban residents to spend only one minute of their time to respond to these, because “your ideas can make a world of difference”.

‘Give a Minute’ is meant to be a public dialogue or brainstorm. Ideas are visualized using digital Post-It notes in different colors, and can be shared on social media. Residents can either use the (nicely designed) website to respond to issues, or text their ideas to a special telephone number.

“‘Give a Minute’ is an opportunity for you to think out loud; address old problems with fresh thinking; and to enter into dialogue with change-making community leaders. Soon, you’ll also be able to link up with others who have similar ideas and work on making your city an even better place.”

All contributions are reviewed by private and public sector community leaders. The best ideas will receive a personal response. For now the privately developed platform is running in Chicago (where it launched in November) and Memphis, but New York and San Jose are the next American cities to get a digital pinboard.

Thinking about the open source practice of urbanism and architecture is highly relevant for modernizing urban planning practice. New digital opportunities have opened up the process of city-making. Another interesting crowd-sourcing example that focuses more on physical assignments is ‘Design by Many’, an international challenge-based design community launched by Hewlett Packard and AutoDesk University which enables participants to post challenges, together with their design source files. From time to time sponsored challenges are posted, such as this assignment to design an external solar shade.