Lou Huang

user interface engineering · civic technology · urban design

Streetmix

role
Executive director
team
Marcin Wichary, Katie Lewis, Shaunak Kashyap, Ezra Spier, Marc Hébert, Anselm Bradford, and many contributors
year
2013

Streetmix is an interactive tool that allows people to create their own street designs, and share them with each other and with their city planners.

This project arose from my professional experience as an urban planner, recognizing that, while civic engagement is necessary to create functional, equitable public spaces, the process itself is broken. The feedback loop between planners and the community is too slow, with little incentive for most would-be stakeholders, while attracting only a disproportionate minority of very loud special interests.

By learning from other disciplines, like gaming, graphic design, cultural anthropology, communications, aand cutting-edge software development, Streetmix began as an experiment to see how the civic engagement process can be transformed.

In addition, by partnering strategically with planners, advocacy groups, and business improvement districts, Streetmix has also changed how the planning industry approaches software procurement, and a model for managing a cross-disciplinary open source community.