Cardboard Castles and Other Amenities...

I am really interested in using different forms of cultural action to help build better communities. Communities are a vital social model, allowing us to tackle problems beyond the ability of individuals with the focus of a defined (usually relatively small) group of people. How do the arts and cultural work in general help communities grow more sustainable futures? If you have a cool website or project or your own ideas on these subjects please let me know.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Public Transportation, a Whole New World

As a first time big city liver, I am just beginning to be able to seriously imagine my life without the need of a personally owned car.  Want Better Transit? Unionize! Is an interesting article about the benefits to be had through Bus Riders Union’s. 

The Straphangers Campaign is perhaps the best model for the kind of resources transit riders unions can provide. But with advances in mobile technology, it's easy to envision a role for riders unions that goes much farther than online resource clearinghouses and communities. Imagine if it were possible to text complaints to a central online forum that automatically forwarded them to your transportation agency; let other riders know through a mobile network when there were problems on certain transit lines; upload a photo of someone who's harassing you on the bus automatically to a dedicated Flickr page, à la Hollaback (a place where women can post photos of their street harassers); or, contribute to interactive, user-generated maps of problem spots in the system that could help make the case for improvements.

It continues to amaze me how mobile technology is changing the way problems are conceived and dealt with.

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