UPDATE #5: Social Citizens want to rule their city themselves
published on 8/1/2016
This week’s update is about urban governance. The citizens of Social City want to be in charge, instead of having national governments, big companies or computers to rule their cities.
In the poll, Social Citizens are asked how they want their city to be ruled. The results are striking: almost half of them want their city to be ruled by the citizens. About a quarter would like a city council to be in charge. Relatively few people want national governments, computers or multinationals to decide what happens, and some anarchists want no governance at all.
Now that a majority of citizens want to rule the city themselves, what is the first thing they would do if they were in charge? Many want to tackle specific issues: “abolish patronizing rules and regulations”, “ban cars, free transportation”, and “opportunities for small entrepreneurship”. Others have innovative ambitions, such as “establish an animal network” and “set all robots free and have dinner with leopards and lions”. Several citizens would like to have a basic income for all. Some just want to have a good sleep, organize parties for everyone, or do not have any ideas yet.
The opinion cloud gives us a glimpse of the diversity of ambitions and dreams. The findings also confront us with challenges. How can all of these ideas be incorporated into a functioning city? Moreover, how can the widely shared ideal of direct urban politics take shape? The challenge will be not only to physically design the city after its citizens’ desires, but also to define the way in which all of their ambitions can be realized through self-governance.
Top images: A self-governance city which is open for everyone, and citizens can express in various ways. It shows two different timelines: citizen keep refining their system on the top of old one. The rules are open-ended and whenever its modified the layers of antecedent are visible.
Visualisation by Sayme Choi.