Crowd-sourcing citizens' vision for Bangalore

Last Updated 29 September 2013, 20:02 IST

Your vision for Bangalore’s future might be lost in a conversation. Or an out-of-the-box idea to boost your neighbourhood might just get stuck in the head, finding no one to address it to.

Rescuing such individual yet workable solutions from premature extinction, sourcing ideas from the crowd, a unique Indo-German initiative is now on in Bangalore. The project, Nextbangalore, is all about injecting life into ideas, debating, visualising, conceptualising...

Launched by the City-based MOD Institute and Nexth

amburg from Germany, Nextbangalore is an online-offline platform that cleverly uses the dynamics of interactive maps, images, voices and design. Simply put, it is aimed at collecting people’s knowledge about places, challenges and opportunities in the city through a map to visualise a better Bangalore tomorrow.  

The city map is your canvas to locate a problem or suggest a solution. So, when you land on www.nextbangalore.com, you are asked a question in big, bold letters: “Imagine you have the power to change one place in Bangalore. What place would you choose?” You then get directed to the “Bangalore Change Map,” get the location and start posting.

Here’s an explanation from the brains behind Nextbangalore: “Dangerous street crossing? Too much noise? No public transport? No place to walk for pedestrians? More green? Tell us the place you want to see changed – and how it should be changed. Your post will be collected on the Nextbangalore Change Map. Post by post, this map will create a full picture of the needs and wishes of Bangalore’s citizens.”

The project has a dual purpose: To organically create a knowledge resource and impulse for urban development. The Nextbangalore change map is designed to be a resource for planners, administratives and politics. It will help professionals to fit their planning concepts to public demand. Its another key objective is to build up the basic layer for a city’s vision that builds upon the collected knowledge. 

As Tile von Damm from the MOD Institute explained to Deccan Herald, the idea is to crowd-source a citizen’s vision that gives impulse to the urban development and encourages new, bottom-up activities. “We take every idea seriously, trigger big discussions in our physical space and on social platforms such as Facebook. Out of the ideas, we make reports and bring it back to the people. With 1,000 posts collected from the website, the first version of this vision will be published online and handed over to local authorities,” said von Damm.

Nextbangalore space

The project’s offline, physical space is an urban design studio and an interactive meeting and discussion room, located on Langford road, Shantinagar. Using a set of tools and methods, a visual and interactive urban landscape is recreated indoors to generate future visions for a liveable city. A huge Flyover Wall dominates this place, while another wall has mythological characters talking Bangalore. Citizens who post online are invited to this space for discussions on city planning and its future, and also take a picture before the Flyover Wall. “Our first guests at the “Flyoverwall” were Somashekar, Balraj and Manjunath. Their demand: Find a way to make mobility work in Bangalore.”

(Published 29 September 2013, 20:00 IST)

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