Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

An Atlas of Possibility

Crowd-sourced urbanism sounds like it might bring out the worst in people: either pie-in-the-sky dreams of boroughs connected by monorail, or parochial desires for more trash pickup on Court Street. But the Institute for Urban Design‘s By the City/For the City, which asked New Yorkers to share and map ideas for fixing their city, has produced a fair number of concrete, pragmatic suggestions. Reading them, as I did, via the Institute’s Twitter feed (#bythecity), I felt proud of the scale of my fellow citizens’ thoughts. The project cleverly employs what I would describe as a Twitter-like interface which, for those who tweet, makes contributing almost impossible to resist.