Cities serve as hubs for the production of creativity and ingenuity; however, all too often, in the hopes of producing more innovation and industry, city governments focus on projects and legislation at the expense of quality interactions with its citizens. In the corporate world, though, a better user experience and improved customer satisfaction are directly tied to compassion for clientele. And, although it may sound strange to call urban citizens “customers,” some cities are attempting to follow this strategy of increasing user experience for the average urban citizen in order to improve the overall quality of the city. After all, while city residents can’t shop around for city governments as easily as we can for gas stations, many of them can still “vote with their feet” and move to cities that treat them better.
Cities like Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. are implementing mobile parking apps, which remove the need to carry change and go to the meter. Other cities, like Boston and New York, are figuring out different ways to pay for parking fines through phones. And Anchorage is working on implementing more than 4,000 energy efficient lights for their street lamps to cut costs, manage usage, and improve the environment.
One of the main resources behind this compassionate change is smart technology. Modern technology can increase the speed of everyday tasks for urban citizens, as well as their mobility, which in turn increases their quality of life. The small strides that are being made towards improving compassion in cities are coming in slowly, but their continued growth is proof that maintaining the status quo is not an option for urban governments.
Read the full story here (via City Lab)
Photo: Next City
Too often, city planning initiatives don’t take into account the voices of those who live in poorer communities. That’s why Long Beach, California took a different approach in its initiative to increase safety for pedestrians. The power behind the project originates from local kids and teens who helped brainstorm various methods that people can make their local communities safer for pedestrians. The project is especially impactful because it focuses those in low-income areas of the city who cannot typically focus their resources on issues like pedestrian safety and traffic. The small city is serving as a pioneer when it comes to listening to local community members to effect positive change. (via Next City)
Many women face discrimination because they don’t fit the stereotypical image of a “mother.” So Celia Sanchez, a professional portrait photographer, is using her art to help change the way people look at motherhood. Sanchez created the series “Devoted” to depict portraits of “non-typical” mother with their children. The mothers do not fit the traditional mold of a mother figure; many tattoos, dyed hair, and piercings. Sanchez wanted to break down the stereotypes surrounding motherhood by showing her audience real women who did not sacrifice their identity when becoming mothers. She says, “being a mom, you get lost in your children and I really love the fact that these women didn’t lose themselves.” (via Upworthy)