Before talking about change, even do a great action: A (paperbased) tool to ask people if they see the street get better or worse in a year, ignites the brain, sense of home belonging, inspires to act and connects Ngo/Gov/Local data needs!
I commented on Wingpost, and the text is even making the concept for myself more clear :)
It's a concept with trial runs which seem to work. The simplicity to seed is key. Any 'do-democracy' concept should start with wonder... Simply announcing on a poster in the building or a note in the mailbox some people might ring your doorbell with the purpose to ask if they like the street/block and if they think in one year it will be worse-same-better is all.
If this is done with 6 multiple choice questions you have data for a graph to give back to people on a 'date/meeting'. People will be curious to results and come. Power of seeding sense of belonging, and a neighbor wants to know if his/her feeling is shared with the street/block. Or not.
People who can identify with the result, and if negative, it empowers to get involved... way beyond the question shall we take action yes or no.
( end update)
Collect and share the "social temperature/humidity" in your street is breaking the ice between neighbors, 6 multiple choice answers give a shared view on being positive on status quo and expectations of the near future.
Streetbarometer is a tool to gather great data for locals to get a common feeling, and social scientists to create recommendations for governance.
Above is a start to;
- create equal participation
- Among all ages
- Beyond language/job/situation/income
- having statistical data on streetlevel for experts,governments and locals alike.
= a visual/live street thermometer on street average feelings on
A. Today and B. the assumption in one year if it get's better or worse.
After this, there is a connection around neighbors, informed experts and input for governance... and with an additional 'tool' (like various OPENideo concepts suggest) you can help people think off and choose actions.
This "Streetbarometer" is a concept by Kees Fortuin. He contacted me 2 years ago to see if I could make a simple tool online to make instant infographics on social street temperature and common forecast. Since I was also in hood-city-region social development, I did with friends and now we have a great start to ignite streetaction durably.
The community registration, edit/download rights and live data analyses is working, also basic live charts. It is a first version and we'd love to boost it to more visual results!
CHALLENGES BEFORE THE TOOL :
Challenge 1 : With a few 'young' people a local cleanup action is easily organized. Especially with all apps around. To do it more often is very dependent on goodwill, and has little to do with structural change.
Challenge 2 : Doing a community workshop to improve neighborhood is possible to start, but to get more people in and of different ages, demands a simple start, bottom up.
Challenge 3 : Analysing neighborhoods through questionnaires is costly and top-down. People in street don't want to participate and nothing is really given back in the short term.
Kees Fortuin is a social development expert and after 25 years of research and action, he has a very simple but powerful method to 'wake-up streets'.
For locals, social expert and government as a start to start change, side-by-side, with the info they need in their life/job.
- one person asking neighbors a few simple questions on safety/cleanness/community today, and if they feel it will get better-same-worse next year.
- now these type of questions is not new, what is new ANYBODY can ask any neighbor these questions and INSTANTLY see online if the street is 'happy' and thinks will be happy next year.
- Also to see instantly in an infographic how your street related to a street around the block is igniting the brain to get curious, start to think about community action.