Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Boston will test how infusing equity data, pavement condition, and usage can positively affect resident’s prioritization of sidewalk investments, as well as using existing sidewalk reconstruction projects as prototypes to test perception and usage pre-and-post construction jobs.
What we’re discovering through testing
Transparent communication is at the heart of the Boston team’s solution to improve the equity of street repairs. Lower income neighborhoods are currently being overlooked for street repairs and residents are suffering as a result. To create a more equitable system and decision making process, the team is committed to having difficult conversations about which neighborhoods will receive priority. So far, residents have appreciated the honest and transparent communication from the city.
Using data to show the state of the sidewalks during the initial prototypes was a great tool to enthuse and engage residents in the new 311 project. People appreciated the city’s transparency in sharing the conditions of sidewalks across the whole city.
Thank you so much to everyone who joined us and @BostonPWD for the StreetCaster Sidewalk Fair on Monday! We had a great time with everyone, and learned a lot! @BloombergDotOrg @CityofBoston @Marty_Walsh @BostonBTD #MayorsChallenge #EquitableInfrastructure #Infrastructure #Boston6:05 PM - 19 Jul 2018 newurbanmechs
When we are upfront about working to change Boston’s inequity, we show that we share the same values and residents really respond to that.Joe Christo, Program Director, City of Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics
What we've learned
Though there's a strong culture of innovation and an understanding of the importance of building diverse teams within Boston City Hall, the testing phase has affirmed the value of bringing in as many internal voices as possible - especially for an infrastructure project. The Department of Public Works were involved from the start, including members of the sidewalk repair road crew, who have added valuable insight and become key advocates of the project.
We continued designing StreetCaster w/ @BostonPWD & residents at great events today - @AgingInBos Sidewalk Series in Mattapan & @DisabilityBOS ADA Day at City Hall! @BloombergDotOrg @CityofBoston @Marty_Walsh #MayorsChallenge #EquitableInfrastructure #Infrastructure #Boston5:11 PM - 24 Jul 2018 newurbanmechs
ICYMI last week, check out our new video about the City’s StreetCaster program! @BloombergDotOrg @CityofBoston @Marty_Walsh @BostonPWD @BostonBTD #MayorsChallenge #EquitableInfrastructure #Infrastructure #Boston4:29 PM - 26 Jul 2018 newurbanmechs
For our internal kick off meeting, we had more city agencies and departments and offices in the room than I’ve had ever been in a room with before!Joe Christo, Program Director, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics