Before flying back to Code for America headquarters in San Francisco Saturday, the three 2012 Philadelphia fellows hinted at what they plan to build for the rest of the year.
The informal remarks from 2012 fellows Michelle Lee, Liz Hunt and Alex Yule came in front of a small crowd of fewer than 20 at the so-called Storefront of Urban Innovation, a still-being-renovated rowhome on the 2800-block of Girard Avenue that is serving as the new headquarters of the Next American City civic action nonprofit.
Next American City’s executive director Diana Lind, who considers I-95 an enemy to the waterfront, kicked off the night before letting Lee, Hunt and Yule address what they’ve learned in their month in Philadelphia and what they hope to accomplish in iterating for the duration of their fellowship, mostly back in San Francisco with the nearly 30 other fellows who are scattered across seven other CFA cities.
Three project topics were discussed by the fellows to focus on in 2012:
- A civic toolkit wiki, in which residents could share best practices in solving common neighborhood problems.
- A mechanism to improve the workflow of vacant property complaints at the city’s Licenses and Inspections department, where defining a vacant property is an ongoing challenge, said Hunt. This appears to be a more specific project that the on-going L&I API effort.
- More broadly, the concept of tools that can help support healthy communities.
The topics are strong ones, mostly well-received by the small audience of primarily 30-something urban renewal enthusiasts, though, concerns might be more valuable if paid to the issue of scaling use to ensure more rigorous impact. Many a good app or web tool has died unnoticed.
Below, watch Hunt discuss other lessons learned while in Philadelphia.
The fellows are hosting a farewell happy hour tonight at Nodding Head on Sansom Street.-30-