MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Grassroots mobilization in tiny pieces

I got back from New Orleans yesterday. After a guest lecture on this project in the class of my research colleague Professor Xun Shi, we had a project meeting. Currently, the project includes three students (Ben, Rose, and Leon), and in the meeting Ben gave us an overview of how he has augmented the online map of Gentilly. One of the things he has done is prepare a suggestions website for visitors to comment on the map.

The critical activity for this week is to start assembling the complete list of properties for Gentilly. My estimate is that are ~17,000 households in Gentilly, so addressing the whole area is a hugh project. The city of New Orleans has a properties database, but it would take a long time to get data, relying on what the database provides and how it provides it. Consequently, we're just focused on tiny pieces to get started to mark our progress.

In order to keep track of Gentilly developments on a regular basis, we will need to work with numerous block captains, much more than are available at present. Articulating a plan to do that is high on the agenda too....

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. It's going to take a lot of brains and hands-on effort to work this through. It will take a little bit from everybody rather than the heroic efforts of a few, if this is going to work.


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