What if City Hall could open its ears to many more people? Textizen asks questions on posters in public places, then collects citizen feedback via text message. Anyone with a minute and an opinion can reply.
Last Friday, the City of Philadelphia and Code for America began a pilot of Textizen, a new system for gathering community feedback to shape the city’s ongoing Comprehensive Plan, Philadelphia2035.
For four weeks this summer, residents and commuters in Philadelphia’s Center City and Lower Northeast will encounter posters that have been posted throughout the neighborhoods–bus and transit shelters, recreation centers, and other public places–that pose questions about the city’s transportation, recreation, and quality of life. Passersby respond to the questions via text message to a phone number displayed on each poster.
Staff from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission will access the feedback through a web application and use it to help shape recommendations in the Philadelphia2035 District Plans.
“We’re excited to pilot and prototype another civic engagement tool with Code for America,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Philadelphia is a two-time Code for America city and we have been experimenting with different tools to facilitate participatory and interactive connections between the public and government, including Change by Us Philly, Neighborhow, and now Textizen. Philadelphia has received multiple awards for being one of the most open and transparent city governments in the country, and this demonstrates our continued commitment to increasing citizen engagement.”
Of the nation’s 10 biggest cities, only Philadelphia has no taxicab that can give a lift to a person who uses a power chair.
Henry Gooden’s power chair died the other day on South 16th Street, about a half-mile short of his apartment in the Scottish Rite Towers.
He’d gone to Holt’s for a blend of pipe and cigarette tobacco that lets him roll his own smokes and save money on Newports.
When his chair ran out of juice, Gooden was outside the 274 Apartments. He figured he was stuck…
Then a passing cabbie told the men of a new player in town, a powder-blue and maroon Freedom Cab van, specially equipped for wheelchairs.
A few minutes later, Billy Goodman pulled up to the curb. In the front passenger seat rode Everett Abitbol, co-owner of the cab company. They opened the back gate, fastened two hooks to the front of Gooden’s chair, hit a switch, and drew him into the back of a new Toyota Sienna.
“I’m glad they came,” Gooden says of his Nov. 8 ordeal. “I’m glad they have the service.”
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Source: Philly.com(Daniel Ruben)
Image Source: Philly.com
Three University of Pennsylvania students have walked away from their Wharton and Engineering studies to launch a new college-software firm, Coursekit, based on a service they rolled out at Penn this year.
“The time is right,” … “I go to a good school. But I’m not really an academic type. I was half doing school and half doing the company.”
So he and his pals turned pro. continue reading>>
Forget the Sunday night phone call. Grandparents and grandkids are connecting— and connected—as never before.
Certainly, it’s nothing new that kids are plugging in and staying connected. But what is new is that it may be a grandparent on the other end of that virtual tin can—and that technology is bridging the vast age and distance gap that has long divided the generations. “A group of us was having dinner, and one woman had to tell her husband to put his iPod Touch away. He was emailing his grandchildren,” says Mary Henderer, a Wilmington, Del., grandmother of four.
It’s a perfect storm of demographics and technology.
As a group, grandparents and grandchildren have plenty in common. They have free time, disposable income for gadgets and gizmos, and a keen interest in staying in touch with people. continue reading>>
Source: The Wall Street Therapy
Many elder advocates approve of seniors “staying connected” via the Internet and cell phone. An information clearinghouse known as The Eldercare Locator has released a series of tips to help older people understand how to use these technologies. The Eldercare Locator’s guide “Staying Connected: Technology Options for Older Adults” teaches older adults how to use technology tools including texting, emailing and social networking websites (such as Facebook). The guide also explains YouTube, Twitter, Skype, Instant Messaging and blogging in addition to how to maintain safety and privacy. continue reading>>
Source: Tauton Daily Gazette
Image Source: Washington Examiner
Teens and young adults have been the most enthusiastic users of smartphones and they’ve taught their parents. Now those older adults have tried the technology, found it to be useful and so the older demographic of smartphone users will grow.” The survey revealed some national characteristics of smartphone users as well as personal traits… continue reading>>
Source: SPORTS techy
Image Source: Scribble: