January 09, 2020

Tactical Civics? Municipal Making?

As ever, one of the background processes going on in my head is wondering about how to improve the city, specifically Liverpool because that's where I live, but I'd expect anything we do to be useful ideas/patterns for others to absorb...

There are blips of more active thinking prompted by Dan Hill's writing, or conversations with our neighbours in the Fabric District, but I've been trying to find ways to get back to some doing for a while now.

I think that's going to look like a fairly low-key meetup of some sort. Probably not much more than me deciding to spend an evening or weekend day hacking on things, and extending the invite to whoever else is interested. I want to do some experimenting and making myself, not run a meetup where (only) others get to do that. At least not in the short term.

However, despite all that, the blocker has been what to call it.

There are elements of what would be tactical urbanism, but tactical sounds too militaristic for my liking, and urbanism implies that it's all about cities. It's not. Ruricomp is just as interesting, and villages and the countryside are just as capable of leading the way.

Maybe it could be something like Municipal Making, given the rise in municipalism (we can gloss over the fact that the Council recently sold the Municipal Buildings to become a hotel...), but that feels a bit like using big words to sound important, which risks putting off parts of the city whose interest I'd rather be trying to pique.

Traditionally I'd run this under the #CodeForLiverpool banner, and that could yet be the best option, but Joe Bramall will be pleased to hear that his influence and my experience at Liverpool Global Service Jam have given me pause for thought on putting the coding cart before the service design horse.

Perhaps I should keep it simple and go with the more established civic tech...

While I'm worrying too much over the name, I'm actually going to swerve it for now and build some stuff.

In a great bit of serendipity, the Ladies of Code Liverpool group are having a Code Hangout this Saturday at DoES Liverpool and don't mind me gegging in. So I'm going to sit quietly in the corner at that and most likely get back to playing with planning application scrapers.

Posted by Adrian at January 9, 2020 09:37 AM | TrackBack

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