Local Government Magazine | Patricia Moore | August 2018
When it comes to co-creating planning solutions, director Nick Williamson of Align Limited suggests councils could learn a lot from the tech and entrepreneurial communities. When these groups hold events, they attract people with great ideas who are prepared to work for days on solving problems – frequently many more people than are drawn to council events.
Smart cities and human-centred design are part of the emerging civic technology movement,” says Nick. “They’re using technology to help empower the public in its dealings with government through better information generation and sharing, and better decision-making and accountability. “Simply applying smart cities technology to existing local government structures is the equivalent of steam-punking,” he says. “It just digitises industrial-age business models.” Nick urges councils to stop trying to help communities and start working alongside community-led initiatives. “Councils need to enable and facilitate bottom-up initiatives. That’s the only way things get any traction”.