A city can be the best and the worst of humanity, amplified, and the creation of community is not necessarily something that occurs naturally. Recognizing today’s political climate on cities, means understanding that certain communities of residents in your typical city’s population are under direct threat.
One of the best way to combat this threat is to alert these communities to the existing services that are capable of serving and protecting. This article provides an overview of the ways tech advocates are developing apps and programs that can connect the immigrant community to these key services.
One of the first programs mentioned was an interactive map created to showcase the “dozens of services available to the immigrant community, including family health centers, transit options, specialized education organizations, and community ministries.”
The only interactive map I can think of using for the city of New York is the one created by GrowNYC – which shows all of the Greenmarkets in NYC and the specifications of each market. This is a much more targeted service, and one that does need a little bit more work, but I do find it to be an immensely useful tool when coordinating my produce regular and special occasion produce shopping, as well as compost and clothing drop offs.
An interactive map is a fairly basic concept, but it does not seem to be a tool that is widely implemented. The first step towards a smart city is a smart and engaged populace – a community that understands what services its city provides, and where to find them.