Prototyping a City’s New Direction

Crowd-Sourcing has become a popular way for companies and organizations to gain a creative edge when developing products and technology. Take for instance, DARPA’s FANG project, which is attempting to outsource the development of a new generation of ground vehicles.

But a new project is taking aim at using crowd-sourcing to redevelop a much larger project, an entire city.  Launched by Louisville’s mayor, Greg Fischer, “Vision Louisville” is a 25-year plan that imagines “a vibrant vision for Louisville’s future.”

So how does 3D printing fit into this scheme? Well, over at Government Technology, they have all of the details.

“As part of the new initiative… the city obtained a 3-D design from a local architect of what is considered a large portion of Louisville’s downtown area. The city took the model of its downtown and used five 3-D printers — which were donated by a private citizen — to create smaller-scale replicas of the buildings.”

“The 3-D model was seen last week when Louisville hosted the IdeaFestival, a four-day event for citizens to share ideas about the city through a series of activities. The 3-D printers were set up so the public could share ideas about the model and adjust the layout of the buildings to determine how alternate designs would look, said Tommy Clark, an urban planner for the city.”

Now, urban planning is a sophisticated art, and it’s doubtful that any one idea from John Q. Citizen will revolutionize the landscape of Louisville. However, this project underscores another important aspect of 3D printing.  It allows individuals and communities to interact with large-scale ideas and turns problem solving into play, which is an often overlooked aspect of problem solving.

Read the entire article at Government Technology

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