Crowd Sourced City: Social Media, Technology and Planning Processes

Social media networks, crowd sourcing, cell phone applications all allow us to see and understand cities and our role within them using a new lens. This workshop class will investigate the use of social media and digital technologies for planning and advocacy by working with actual planning and advocacy organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate prototype digital tools. Students will use the development of their digital tools as a way to investigate how new media technologies can be used for planning.


Student groups are paired up with an advocacy agency to develop a strategy for using social media and mobile technologies. Students are required to implement part of their strategy before the end of the class. They are also required to develop a method for how their “client” might incorporate these strategies into their own work processes. Students work with City agencies as well as non-profits and learn how these two groups approach problems differently. The implementation phase teaches the students what works and what does not. This allows them to analyze how well their goals aligned with their strategies. Students often learn the most from implementation strategies that are not successful as they discover how their theories might not apply to real world situations. The course will allow students to develop their own strategies for CROWD SOURCING THE CITY.