Localist is an engaging online platform that unlocks the power of citizen participation in shaping communities and cities. The platform enables people to share their ideas and opinions on city amenities, and provide suggestions on how to best utilize empty spaces in their neighborhoods. This includes sharing ideas for new businesses, improving infrastructure, or suggesting local amenities such as coffee bars and restaurants. The ultimate goal of the Localist platform is to empower people to have a voice in community development, and to help municipalities better understand their citizens, working together to create a better place to live for everyone.
Inspired by the legendary journalist, author and activist Jane Jacobs, who worked in New York during the late 1960s, Localist seeks to protect neighborhoods from urban renewal by involving community input in city development. We have designed the Localist platform to reflect the same powerful energy as the initiative itself, and to empower local communities to come together and actively participate in shaping their cities.
We designed Localist’s user-experience and interface with a focus on a few key functionalities, such as sharing ideas for both empty and active places, and engaging in conversations with other people from the neighborhood to improve the area they live in. The main interface of the platform consists of a split view of on one side the map of your neighborhood with all added empty and active places. The other side is a feed with a more social view of everything happing in your neighborhood. The feed contains popular comments, new initiatives, community votes as well as empty and active places. This central split-screen hub makes Localist an easy to engage platform where community involvement is both encouraged and celebrated and municipalities can actively participate and learn from their citizens.
A beta version of Localist is currently being tested in a few major US cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles and Houston. While Localist is still in development, the public beta can be visited online at www.localist.buzz.