Crowdsourcing Feedback on Public Spaces in San Diego

As the smart phone market continues to grow, more and more people are using these devices to access social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The amount of location-based data (i.e. text, photos, video) being created everyday has created an unprecedented opportunity for landscape architects to learn more about how their projects, particularly major public spaces, are being used. In fact, the two-way communication of social networks coupled with GPS technology makes it possible for landscape architects to engage with users in real time. Social networks can also help facilitate a “community inventory” process as well as enable easier post-occupancy survey and analysis of built projects.

Throughout this year’s ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego (October 30-November 2nd), a crowdsourcing event titled #LandarchSD will be held to demonstrate social media’s potential. However, in this case, we will use the Twitter hashtag, #LandarchSD, to harness the talent and expertise of the more than 6,000 landscape architecture professionals from across the United States and the world descending on San Diego. #LandarchSD will provide an opportunity for landscape architects themselves to collectively share their observations and discoveries about major public spaces in San Diego. In addition to creating a unique collection of information about the city’s public spaces and urban environment, sharing these insights from our perspective can raise the public’s awareness about how our profession enriches their use of public spaces and their lives.

Information will be captured through the use of mobile devices and shared by location-based posts on Twitter and the event’s Facebook page. Posts can contain text, photos, video, and more. Examples of content include statements, photos, or videos highlighting interesting design solutions or illustrating principles of good public space design in action, or comments on why users are using or not using a space and identifying opportunities for improvements.

If you are going to the ASLA Meeting or live in San Diego, we invite you to participate by using a social media application from your smartphone (whether it’s on a Android, Blackberry, or iOS browser) or your desktop computer. To participate or even just follow the event on Twitter, the hashtag #landarchSD will be used to compile the information. (For those unfamiliar with hashtags and their use, a hashtag is a word or string of words without spaces or symbols proceeded by the “#” symbol created by any Twitter user as a way to categorize messages. Hashtags facilitate finding related information or following conversation strings on Twitter. Learn more about what hashtags are. You can also just follow the hashtag.)

The event is being organized in conjunction with our education session “Social Media Strategies for Landscape Architects” held on Wednesday November 2, 1:30-3:00pm. At the education session, the panel will touch upon using social media for inventory and post-occupancy surveys and discuss the information collected through this initiative.

This guest post is by Brian Phelps, ASLA, Hawkins Partners, Inc.

Image credit: #LandarchSD

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