TED Conversations

Ziska Childs

Freelancer, united scenic artists


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How do we get back the neighborhood?

Of course I'm referencing the 2012 TED prize The talk which inspired this question has been posted: Jen Pahlka talking about "Peace Corps for Geeks" aka- coding for government. One of the ideas in that talk which resonated for me was it's not about making the bureaucracy easier- it's about solving the problems. More often than not that means getting the bureaucracy out of the way and letting people be neighborly. "Adopt a fire hydrant"- shovel it out when there's a snow storm. That's pretty simple stuff and it promotes Community - with an upper case "C".

I've seen my own home town go from a place where I could walk to everything (the butcher the baker the candlestick maker) to one where there are 30,000 vehicle round trips a day. This is for a town of 6000 residents. The service providers drive in and out for work. The residents drive out and in to go to school, the hospital, the rec center and to find lower priced goods. Employee housing (also out of town-but closer) has resulted in a boost for the construction industry which increases the service trips in and out. Placing a transfer tax on real estate has favored flipping and cowboy development. I only mention this to emphasize that treating the symptom doesn't work and the unintended consequences can be devastating.

So, how do we get back the neighborhood? How do we get back the Community?


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  • Mar 23 2012: Any Social Media - is always an international one. because they need international outlook. In fact with this media, we have "International neighborhood" where we feel we are interacting with lots of people. I suggested to an IT professional - to start a La facebook - "back-pack.com" or "backyard.com" -- which should be only for that particular city only, for only those people in certain trade - like Software -back-pack or Designer -backpack or butcher -backpack or say - Dubai-backyard.com where only dubai residents will be allowed to mingle with, like only software engineers will be allowed to mingle with. By which -- we can real time - neighbourhood on-line - this is actually called social media web sites where we all speak the language we know, fashion we care, motives we gad etc., The developer of this idea can have 10 or 20 social media sites - political-back-pack.com, New Delhi.backyard.com; James Town.backyard.com like wise. I am not looking at FB page for particular area where some how or other a person like me would like to enter and spoil the game. Any comments??

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