11.458 / 11.S196
Crowd Sourced City: Social Media, Technology and Planning Processes

Social media networks, crowdsourcing, mobile and web apps 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 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.

This edition of Crowd Sourced City focuses on equity in monuments and public art. We will explore questions such as: How can cities audit monuments for racial and gender equity? How can cities use digital tools to surface the multitude of stories that are not told in the public landscape? How can cities facilitate (and make sense of) online civic dialogue around controversial statues and markers? How do cities work with Indigenous groups around commemoration? 

This is a project-based, partner-based class open to both undergraduate and graduate students. We will be working with the City of Boston – specifically the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture and the Mayor's Office of Equity – as our client partners in this work. Students will work in groups to explore one or more of the questions above and to prototype a civic technology, civic engagement platform, data analysis and visualization, and/or civic media project.