Designing an Operating System for a User-Driven City

Designing an Operating System for a User-Driven City
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 23 march 2009

We wrote about DIYcity back in late October shortly after its launch. During its roughly six month life span, the budding online project has successfully created a forum for a global community of users to discuss ways that technologies can be utilized to make their respective cities run more efficiently and move towards a more sustainable model. Over that time, creator John Geraci has noticed one overarching challenge begin to emerge, an issue he identifies in a recent post by asking the question, “Can we, collectively, come up with a complete set of tools that ordinary people everywhere can plug into to make their cities work better?”

He envisions a city where information flows easily through local government, its residents and seamlessly in between, producing a tight ecology of sharing that can transform ideas from conversation to implementation. He explains the long term goals:

I want people to be able to come to DIYcity, look through an index of (open source) applications, find the ones that are set up for their city and use them, or else set them up for their city if they aren’t configured yet. One person should be able to come to the site, and with a little bit of energy activate a whole new service for his or her city.

That is the Do-It-Yourself City. That’s what we’re working towards.

And while our government may finally be stepping up to tackle some of these issues, DIYcity’s citizen-centric design enables the public to function autonomously to bring about change without the need for this level of collaboration. However at any stage throughout the development, if government agencies want to get on board with making things happen, all the better.  

[via DIYcity]

[image via Deviant Art]


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