YouSayCity is a public online platform offering an immersive and interactive 3D environment for you to share and explore development projects shaping the future of your city. The platform is open to all, allowing anyone to upload and share information, pictures, documents, websites, upload 3D models, and highlight particular views of a city or project. Our objective is to offer a platform through which all information concerning upcoming or completed project can be gathered, organized, and geolocated for the public to easily access, understand and contribute to. It is our hope that by inspiring more people to participate in city development discussions, and ultimately putting our collective ideas into the hands of those affecting change, we can begin to shape innovative and sustainable solutions to the problems facing our cities.
The YouSayCity platform stems from a prototype developed during an undergraduate research project at McGill University. Inspiration for the research/platform came while attending a public consultation for a major development project in the City of Montreal. Unfortunately, few people attended the formal project presentation with fewer people actually participating in the discussion, asking questions or voicing their opinion concerning the future of this project.
These public consultations are the front lines of citizen engagement offering a venue for information sharing, debate, and transparency. Unfortunately, these consultations are not always accessible for everyone to attend, and can often be intimidating structures for public participation. Also, the rich information concerning the projects is often reduced to presentations portraying static renderings of the project and the main components of a project. Many of these projects however have detailed reports, geographic information layers and 3D models that could be opened up to the public for greater understanding and more informed discussion.
With the ever-growing reach & power of the Internet, we set out to explore the possibility of building a tool that allows people to share these various information types (images, documents, 3D models, data layers, websites, etc.) and take part in constructive discussions online. By offering citizens an interactive and immersive portal through which they can voice their point of view (at any time and from anywhere via a computer), we believe that increasing online participation and knowledge sharing may translate to increased ‘real world’ awareness and participation.
Before building the prototype for platform, it was important to explore the various technologies and social-political contexts that may affect such a project. The realms of public participation, online applications, and 3D technologies were studied to better understand how to move forward with the project. The full research thesis is available belowe. Here are some passages that capture the outcomes of the research:
Over the course of the past few seasons, YouSayCity has evolved and grown thanks to the contributions of the following individuals:
We are still looking for people who are interested in joining our team. If you have experience you think is useful to our project (i.e. programming, urban planning, public partipation) feel free to contact us at the addresses below!
We have had the chance to collaborate with some great organizations throughout our journey. If you would like to collaborate with us, or simply share thoughts and/or ideas, we would love to hear from you! A special thank you to:
The free platform will feature the following funtionalities in its BETA launch. We encourage you to explore the various functionalities and find ways of using them to the benefit of the projects being discussed!
View 3D Models
Multiple Content Types
Track Content and Projects
Share with Friends
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This section is in progress. As we receive feedback from our BETA platform we will compile some of your most common questions.