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24-Hour City Project

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

People’s District, iStrategyLabs, and the National Building Museum launched the 24-Hour City Project as part of the Intelligent Cities Initiative.

If you had just 24 hours to impact your city, what would you do?

As a creative experiment in temporary urbanism and digital innovation, the 24-Hour City Project explores the intersection of data, arts, and technology within the built environment. The project aims to demonstrate how technology, imagination, and innovation can envision our future cities.

Teams put together temporary physical and digital exhibitions to see who can most effectively visualize the intersection of data, arts, and technology with the built environment. Through these experiments, teams are encouraged to make the built environment more engaging, relevant to our lives, and accessible to all.

On June 5, the 24-Hour City Project launched a beta competition within the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. On November 11, a second project was launched at Digital Capital Week.

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Topics: Projects — Danny @ 12:29 pm

Tracy and Josh on Fighting for D.C.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Tracy – “I have deep roots in this city. My Mom, who is ethnically Chinese, came here as a refugee from Vietnam. She always grew up feeling like she didn’t have a home, and yearned for a place where she belonged. She met my Dad, who was from a small town in Massachusetts, and they ended up here. It is that need to belong and a love of small towns that have kept me here for so long.

While it is enshrined in the Constitution that D.C. should not have the vote, women and African-Americans were also excluded from voting in the Constitution.

“While I love it here, this can be a tough place for many people. In high school, I started getting involved with some of the pressing social issues of the city, mainly hunger and housing, and soon realized that they were largely rooted in structural problems. The more you look, the more you see that our weak governance structure and lack of full representation means that these problems can’t be fully resolved. Worse still is that we have internalized the political structure that oppresses us, and adopted a mentality of being oppressed. As such, many of the people and politicians here lack the initiative to fight for D.C. We have been beaten to the point that we feel we lack the power and can’t stand up for ourselves.

Josh – “I used to work in the Maryland State Legislature, and people there felt like they could progress up the ladder and aspire to be a congressman, governor, or senator. Here, the highest level of office that a kid born in D.C. can aspire to is mayor or the dizzying heights of being on the D.C. Council or an At-Large Shadow Senator. To me, it seems like anyone with an ounce of political ambition, would leave D.C. for Maryland or Virginia to pursue a political career that can have both a local and national impact.

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Josef on Making it Count

Friday, September 16th, 2011

“We live in a city like no other in the world. DC has so much in terms of arts, culture, and access to the international community through the embassies. Sadly, so many people only think of us as the halls of power and monuments, and all of the good and bad that comes with that. The truth is that I don’t know anything about that stuff because I don’t live in that city. I live in DC. I want to help people access that city, and put that city back on the map by helping to cultivate the creative economy.

“When I came here in June 2008, I was working as a national organizer for Greenpeace, and thought it would be my dream job. Fortunately, I kept getting promoted, which is a good thing, but the more responsibility I had, the less I was organizing. I ended up sitting behind a desk, crunching numbers for ten hours a day. At a certain point, I stopped feeling like I was having an impact on things.

Right now, so many people are paying attention to this city, and it is our job to tell them what to pay attention to.

“One afternoon, I was sitting in Columbia Heights with a friend who was a music teacher at a prestigious school in Cleveland Park. She told me how upset she was to walk through her neighborhood on the way to her fancy school, knowing that the kids she passed would not get an arts education. I am not a musician or an artist, but I saw that as an opportunity to make an impact, so I started fundraising and organizing.

“I went to the DC USA developers and Councilmember Jim Graham’s office, and helped her start an arts camp for kids in the neighborhood. From there, I started a non-profit, CHARTS (Columbia Heights Arts Foundation), to help unify our neighborhood through the arts, and started Vestibule, to help emerging artists in DC. We have people from so many backgrounds who don’t interact for so many reasons in DC, but I have always seen art as the language that transcends all differences. I left Greenpeace, and devoted myself fully to these things in January 2010.

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