Using a new interactive website, residents can look at a map of South Lincoln, see some of the improvements being discussed, and add their own comments and suggestions.
The project page at courb.co/lincoln was created for the Lincoln Planning Board and the South Lincoln Planning Implementation Committee (SLPIC), which are working to make the area around Lincoln Station a vibrant, walkable and sustainable village center. Officials can post updates and respond to comments by residents as part of the public process, which also includes in-person workshops and events.
The project team behind the website can drop a “pin” on certain areas of the map to invite discussion. For example, when users click on one of pins, it opens a text box saying “If this underutilized green space next to Donelan’s and Lincoln Woods was revitalized, what events would you like to see held here?” Residents can then post and read each other’s responses, much like the comments section at the bottom of a blog post, or add their own pins to start discussion on another specific area of South Lincoln. Participants receive a notification when the project team replies.
The town was recently awarded a $400,000 Complete Streets grant for 10 projects in town, some of which include including signs, roadway markings, crosswalks, bike racks, and informational kiosks in South Lincoln. One of the website pins asks residents where they wold like to see these kiosks located.
The web platform was created by coUrbanize, a startup founded by urban planners from MIT with the goal of supplementing the traditional community process that planners use by connecting people online. “Traditional planning workshops are important, but they can be a challenge for many people to attend,” said coUrbanize co-founder Karin Brandt. “By using technology to reach people and lowering the bar to participation, we can ensure that more voices are heard.”