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Crowdsourcing and Urban Planning
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Crowdsourcing and Urban Planning

Crowdsourcing and Urban Planning

27 min
Credit: AICP CM

This course is approved for .5 AICP CM credit

Crowdsourcing is the gathering of ideas, content, voices, and services by leveraging the collective intelligence and wisdom of crowds. Traditional top-down approaches to planning have proven ineffective when it comes to planning cities that are equitable, livable, sustainable, and that enhance the well-being of the various communities found in a city. As a result, planners must explore alternative methods of organizing that leverage our increased access to citizens and technology. Crowdsourcing is a plausible, meaningful, and creative solution to the many of the challenges and inefficiencies of traditional urban planning.

The purpose of this course is to introduce planners to crowdsourcing and how it can be of use in planning. The core focus of this course is to 1) introduce the concept of crowdsourcing, 2) discuss the various forms of crowdsourcing, and 3) the opportunities in utilizing crowdsourcing. 

In This Course

  1. The process of crowdsourcing is the gathering of ideas, content, and services from the public as a collective intelligence. Crowdsourcing harnesses the wisdom of crowds to acquire the best ideas and solutions. This chapter will discuss the purpose of crowdsourcing, provide a course overview, and introduce learning objectives.
  2. The Role of Crowdsourcing in Planning
    Crowdsourcing is a creative option that can help alleviate challenges found in cities and, in some cases, can actually yield better and more creative solutions than planners could have created themselves. This chapter will discuss examples of crowdsourcing that are unique and creative and that aid in some element of city life.
  3. The Wisdom of Crowds
    The wisdom of crowds is found in collective answers, opinions, or knowledge from a group rather than a single individual. This chapter will discuss why the wisdom of crowds is so valuable and how technology makes crowdsourcing easier.
  4. Type of Crowdsourcing: Crowd Wisdom
    Crowd wisdom is the sourcing of ideas, content, and services to solve challenges or complex problems. This chapter will focus on its uses, both internal and external to an organization.
  5. Type of Crowdsourcing: Crowd Review
    Crowd review is the contribution of comments, update, rating, and voting by a crowd. This chapter will discuss examples of crowd review and how it can be used in local government.
  6. Type of Crowdsourcing: Citizen Science
    Citizen science engages interested volunteers in the research process. This chapter will discuss the primary types of citizen science along with examples of how citizen science is used.
  7. Opportunities
    Crowdsourcing stimulates great opportunities because it fosters accountability and transparency in response to community problems. This chapter will discuss crowdsourcing opportunities, including improved understanding of community challenges, agenda setting, and techniques to drive a higher quality of life.
  8. The Challenges of Crowdsourcing
    Despite the potential of crowdsourcing, it is not without its challenges. This chapter will discuss the challenges to crowdsourcing, including credibility, accountability, interest, and time.
  9. Getting Started
    Beginning a crowdsourcing project can seem daunting. This chapter will discuss the first steps that should be considered when starting a crowdsourcing initiative.

Published 2017