00 is hard at work on a new Web2.0 platform for open-source urban planning… ’EDIT’ (Everybody Doing It Together) will be a web-app offering members of the public the opportunity to propose interventions and improvements to their local neighbourhoods, and provide them with the tools to realise those proposals through collaboration and sharing of resources. In many ways EDIT is a mash-up between Kickstarter, The School of Everything, and FixMyStreet… (just three examples of the plethora of collaborative, enabling, and engagement-based tools the internet is throwing up within the framework of our emerging civic economy).
At its heart, EDIT will be about empowerment – subverting the traditional idea that we are powerless to affect the public realm, and must rely entirely on local authorities to maintain and improve our neighbourhoods. Moreover EDIT will attempt to bridge the gap between surplus capacity within the community and aspirations for real action amongst community activists. We hope that EDIT will eventually provide an outlet for local councils to engage with the dreams and proposals of local people, and furthermore offer them the opportunity to release public funds and support to community action groups to enable positive change, thereby reducing their own resource burdens.
We are currently hard at work putting together a first (alpha) version of the software, and hope to have a beta ready for release over the coming months. The platform is being built on the excellent Cappuccino framework. In addition to working through use-cases, various iterations of interface and the like, we have also been doing some coding from ground up – and feel it is in the spirit of the very civic economy we hope to service to release (at least some!) snippets from time to time…
We have launched an official 00:/ github account (http://github.com/architecture00). Github is an amazing resource allowing software developers to share code and collaborate in evolving their output – it is founded on relatively simple principles of versioning (git repositories specifically), but through its communication potential and some very clever visualizations facilitates an incredibly efficient workflow. We will hopefully be using our account as a platform for sharing all sorts of software developments in future (…along with edit we have ideas about a version of github’s own network graph, for use as a journey catalogue through strategic decision making and project development… about which more later)!
It may still be early days, but watch this space.