Posted November 26th 2012 at 10:45 am by
in citychat

Fix This Public Space With #oneidea

CoLab will host a new kind of Twitter chat on December 5th and 6th: #oneidea.

Fix This Public Space With #oneidea
Image credit: Scott Burnham

#oneidea is 24-hour Twitter chat in which anyone can offer a single idea for how our cities’ unsung but ubiquitous functional public spaces could be made better places. Over the course of 24 hours, a global visual idea exchange will take place. At the beginning of the 24-hour session, an image will be shown of an urban space and a description of its current use and context. Over the following 24 hours, using the hashtag #oneidea, participants are encouraged to continue the exchange, offering their one idea of how the space could be made better for either its specific use and context, or an idea for how that general type of space could be improved in cities throughout the world.

Fix This Public Space With #oneidea
Image credit: Urfun Lab Surat

It’s easy to participate. Just use the hashtag #oneidea in your tweet, and a global community of city lovers and designers will be able to see your image or idea. You’ll be able to see all of the #oneidea tweets here starting on December 5th at noon EST. @scottburnham and @MITCoLab and are cohosting #oneidea on Twitter.

At the conclusion of the 24-hour session, the original image and all submitted ideas will be posted, documenting the range of ideas that can be produced in one day, #oneidea at a time, to make the functional spaces of our cities better places.

CoLab’s Alexa Mills and Urban Strategist Scott Burnham came up with this idea over coffee as Alexa was complaining about the alley she lives in:

Every morning I open my door to Public Alley 424. This alley is where cleaners and cooks start their shifts; where rich people park their cars for $400 a month; where college students come and go from their deteriorating apartments; where twice a week a parade of waste pickers sift through trash for valuables before the garbage trucks lumber through; where repairmen of all sorts exchange quick wits before going in to fix whatever is broken; and where rats run amok. Yet people almost never interact in the alley and no one tries to beautify the space. Almost no one even keeps a plant there.

Fix This Public Space With #oneidea
Image credit: Scott Burnham

Spaces like Alexa’s alley are indicative of the overlooked slivers of space in the city that hold a functional and social value in the city greater than the attention the city pays to these spaces. Someone must to have at least one idea for how to make this alley – maybe all alleys – more enjoyable. Perhaps someone also has one idea for how to make empty lots between buildings better spaces. And traffic islands. And bus stops. And street corners. And parking lots behind buildings…

Do you have #oneidea?

Post by Scott Burnham and Alexa Mills.

One Response to “Fix This Public Space With #oneidea”

  1. [...] Do you have one really good idea for how to activate city spaces? MIT’s CoLab and Scott Burnham are hosting a Twitter conversation on December 5th to encourage users of the Twitterverse to propose interventions and solutions using the hashtag [...]