viernes, 19 de octubre de 2012

Week picks #1


San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation ( is a 501(c)6 organization created to leverage the power of the technology community around civic action in San Francisco. supports innovative policies and works collaboratively with government to find new solutions to historic problems facing San Francisco, and consolidate a voice in promotion of tech sector interests and growth. is dedicated to developing and promoting key policy programs aimed at making San Francisco a better and more productive place to live and do business. Several projects are in development that focus on public safety, transportation, job creation, training, placement, and education innovation. currently partners with over 320 member companies and organizations, with more coming on daily. 


Public Lab is a community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms.

Community members develop tools and write open source instructions as research notes, wiki pages, printable guides, and videos, so others know how to use these tools, and many havestarted local groups in their area. We also provide support through our mailing lists. This works because everyone both learns from and helps each other out, and we all contribute to the growing body of documentation as we go.

The core PLOTS program is focused on “civic science” in which we research open source hardware and software tools and methods to generate knowledge and share data about community environmental health. Our goal is to increase the ability of underserved communities to identify, redress, remediate, and create awareness and accountability around environmental concerns. PLOTS achieves this by providing online and offline training, education and support, and by focusing on locally-relevant outcomes that emphasize human capacity and understanding.


New Urban Mechanics is an approach to civic innovation focused on delivering transformative City services to Boston’s residents. While the language may sound new, the principles of New Urban Mechanics -  collaborating with constituents, focusing on the basics of government, and pushing for bolder ideas - are not.

The office focuses on a broad range of areas from increasing civic participation, to improving City streets, to boosting educational outcomes.  The specific projects are diverse as well – from better designed trash cans to high tech apps for smart phones. Across all these projects, the office strives to engage constituents and institutions in developing and piloting projects that will re-shape City government and improve the services we provide.


Gap Filler is a creative urban regeneration initiative started in response to the September 4, 2010 Canterbury earthquake, and revised and expanded in light of the more destructive February 22, 2011 quake. It is now administered by the Gap Filler Charitable Trust.

Gap Filler aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within Christchurch with creative projects for community benefit, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city. Gap Filler will see vacant sites – awaiting redevelopment as a result of the many earthquakes or otherwise – utilised for temporary, creative, people-centred purposes. We work with local community groups, artists, architects, landowners, librarians, designers, students, engineers, dancers – anyone with an idea and initiative! We lower the barriers, by handling the legal contracts and liability insurance, to help ideas become a reality.


SQFT is an online platform that connects entrepreneurial renters to short-term leases and labor in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood.

SQFT seeks to activate vacant or underutilized spaces by fostering short-term use and commercial activity. Our intention is to bolster existing business by increasing foot traffic, attract new business, create employment opportunities for local residents, and bring vibrancy into the area.

P.D. Yes, this is a new series (see other abandoned series such as Serendipia or Ficciociudades). Every Friday I will try to pick some initiatives and projects I found. It will help me to track new findings from community groups, startups or local governments working and delivering solutions relevant to the issues of this blog. I often bookmark them or save them on Tumblr while I wait to use them. Maybe this a good way.

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