Lloyd Brown of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials discusses how crowd-sourcing could help incorporate civic engagement into transportation planning policy:
Transportation public engagement is really not that different from product development. We want to know what people think about a sidewalk design, or how a nearby wetlands should be managed during project construction? We might want to know whether there should be certain kinds of aesthetic treatments or pedestrian and cycling enhancements for the new highway project? Whatever the question, we are seeking answers from a specific set of users, uniquely qualified to comment on some aspect of the transportation system we are about to impact in some way.
Crowdsourcing is a strategy that seeks information from a specific audience. You are outsourcing a task – the color of a new car, for instance – to the “cloud” of users that might actually want to buy your car. Crowdsource participants are motivated to share either because they are entertained and like something. Or, crowdsource participants are motivated by a sense of community building – making something better. Those are folks you want to find.
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