Key to the Street is a cloud-based service that allows anyone with a mobile device to participate in the design of public spaces. The main focus is encouraging more people to walk—the cheapest and easiest way to improve one’s wellbeing. I’m starting with a focus on walking because most cities need to scale down to allow for this basic activity—to put the focus on health and sustainability. People are encouraged to use Key to the Street when they’re physically standing at the exact location they hope to help improve. Everyone can share their ideas for better designs and learn from one another. Cities can become even better by enabling more people to participate in urban design.
The process begins with you standing in a street area you think needs improving and capturing a photo and the location info in the Key to the Streets app. You then have the option of either sketching and/or dragging/dropping elements on the photo to provide design ideas. There’s also an option to send audio or a text message about your ideas.
Key to the Street then collects and analyzes this data for city planners to help them make well-informed decisions for redevelopment projects. Urban designers can use this data generated from local citizens to not only inspire design plans but also give proof to city government that there is a need for street redesign. As a result both citizens and designers accelerate the process of making their cities more walkable.