"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SF: Urban Prototyping

Location: San Francisco, CA


UP: San Francisco is a festival centered around Placemaking Through Prototyping: How Citizen Experiments Reimagine the Public Realm. The festival fosters a wide array of new creative projects which blend the digital and physical to explore new possibilities in public space. Every project produced is open source, publicly documented, and replicable in any city in the world.

The project teams behind these works represent exciting new collaborations between the creative technology, participatory art, and urban design communities. The UP Festival 2012 series of events – centered around an open call for proposals, a weekend makeathon, and a public street exposition – brought together thousands of participants and attendees, building a community around civic engagement through creative work.

The UP exposition in October 2012 served as a high-visibility public venue for showcasing San Francisco’s leadership in the fields of technology, design, civic participation, and maker culture.

Urban Prototyping is a global movement exploring how participatory design, art, and technology can improve cities. Each UP Festival uses its own strategy to uniquely address that city’s specific circumstances – soliciting, testing, and deploying digital and physical projects with high potential for impact.

UP is an initiative of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), the San Francisco nonprofit dedicated to building social consciousness through digital culture, in partnership with Rebar, IDEO, and strong local partners in cities around the globe.

UP: San Francisco is produced in partnership with Intersection for the Arts and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, with many other organizations contributing to the effort. For more information, see our Partners page.

San Francisco is the second city to host an UP Festival, with Singapore hosting the inaugural festival in conjunction with the World Cities Summit in June-July 2012. Produced in partnership with Newton Circus and Re:Imagine Group, UP Singapore focused on how public and private data could be leveraged to build new web and mobile applications promoting health and sustainability.

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