Social Media as a Tool for Urban Design

This video discusses how we can use social media as a design tool for the city. Speakers talk about harvesting the twitter, foursquare, and sonar data through APIs and how this relates to an urban environment. Peoples movement patterns are studied through check-ins on four square. What tools can we use to connect people through the city? What services are people going outside their neighborhoods for? Is there an opportunity for small businesses to move in and do we have zoning or business licenses in place to support this?  For instance, if people are going far to go to the coffee shop etc. As the video demonstrates these types of technologies are already being used by Starbucks.

By looking at these movement patterns and trends on twitter give we can begin to identify a place. By using geo locations one can begin to map these qualities of the city. What type of rezoning of neighborhoods would support small business and create jobs in communities in Chicago?

Sarah Williams discusses a research project, Industry in Motion, which studies the movement patters of fashion designers in the New York Garment District. This area is under contention for rezoning. Designers check in throughout the day in Foursquare. What she explains is that this manufacturing is important to the vitality not only locally but regionally. The manufacturing sector has declined greatly in the U.S., for example in Detroit with the loss of the auto manufacturing industry, and we need these type of manufacturing sectors they support our work force.

What do these moving patterns tell us in Chicago?

New York Garment District: Designer Movements (Manufacturing Industry) through Foursquare


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