Noun

blockee (plural blockees)

  1. (rare) One who, or that which, is blocked.

I spent last week in Long Beach California for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference on urban planning and the break out women’s bicycling summit. Having experienced both, it seems that getting unblocked or unstuck is a problem in urban planning. The conference was filled with excellent, if not surprising ideas on how to get major new projects through; from bicycling and walking infrastructure to  changing Driver’s Education requirements to “mobility education.”  (+wiki)

 

And a constant theme that came up in all areas was the challenge of explaining and visualizing change. Thankfully I was there with the NYC StreetFilms crew who are pretty much the best at that, but I also came across blockee.org via a lady planner and cycling enthusiast from the NYC DOT.

 

Do you know a local street that could use a makeover? Consider Blockee, a web-based app that—using images imported from Google Street View -or pictures you upload- allows you to redesign streetscapes by adding trees, bike lanes, food trucks, and other pieces of “civic bling.”

You can check out more from the app’s creators at Code for America:
Code for America hopes…that you’ll get a kick out of playing with the app, but that the game might also lead to actual civic improvements. The idea originally grew out of more serious discussions in Macon, Georgia about how to engage citizens in bettering their own blocks. After all, why can’t your street get that new bike rack?
Or a Victorian-style lamppost, or a children’s playground, or a speed bump, or landscaping, or…well, you get the point. There are a few dozen pieces of infrastructure included in Blockee, and Code for America is taking suggestions for bling to feature in a future version of the game.
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