Using Wikis And Blogs To Support Citizen Participation In Local Community Issues
This morning, as I was driving inside the Rome traffic on my way to the office, I realized something interesting, about blogs, wikis and all these new forms of grassroots communication.
Photo credit: Robin Good
Blogs and wikis can be great enablers for local district and community support and they could easily offer much greater opportunity for citizen participation to key issues and problems to be addressed locally.
The whole reasoning was sparked by a traffic event.
As I was slowly going through a new roadway section that has just been completed at the point where via Trionfale meets via della Pineta Sacchetti and the new North-West underground pass (longest urban underground pass in Europe - 3Km) something stroke me as worth exploring.
Lots of resources and great efforts have gone in this yet to be completed urban masterwork but one of the few glaring negative end results is that the last 100 metres of via Trionfale (via Pestalozzi to be precise) have been cemented into a true bottleneck that slows down traffic to a crawl worse than the one we were used before all this underground pass revolution.
The culprit is an innocent sidewalk, placed within the road itself (not on the side) and possibly intended to separate local traffic from mainstream one. Fact is that the width and positioning of this new physical barrier makes traffic much worse and physically reduces the capacity of the roadway in a significant way.
Since urban works are done with citizen money, I felt bad two times: one because I was wasting a lot of time for a bad architectural decision that was not visibly benefiting anyone, two, because I felt very aware that the waste and damage had been done with my own money.
I asked myself: "How I could ever affect or influence such things, in a way that included:
a) not wasting enormous amounts of time by having to write to mainstream newspapers and media to get their attention to this issue.
b) doing something that would actually help me change the status quo of this problem and not simply allow me to complain about it (which is not what I am after)?"
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