We no longer have excuses for complaints that our voices cannot be heard. Technology has given every imaginable way to organize and communicate against things we feel in the wrong.
Even in cities, above the car horns, street noise, and construction, means of pinpointing urban blight are here to give no room for them to be swept under the rug.
Through mapping technology, something I'm fond of seeing utilized in landscape contexts, is currently being developed in multiple facets in attempt to improve the lives of urban citizens. I was recently contacted by the Environmental Mapping Technology Company SenSaris, after they read this post, to help design their personal, portable devices for measuring environmental conditions.
The mapping and measurements taken from the portable sensors directly correlate to inhabited areas to more efficiently influence which areas are in immediate of bioremediation or urban redesign.
At the social spectrum, the Infrastructionalist has created an interactive mapping system empowering citizens to pinpoint infrastructure degradation call F** This, Find It, Flag It, Fix It. From their site:
In the land of F** This! you are granted many wonderful powers. You can become a guardian of public infrastructure. You can keep your city working smoothly. You can post pictures of busted crap–partially disassembled escalators in subway stations, cavernous potholes, permanently dark street lights–and trade snide and insightful comments with your wonderful new F** This! cyberfriends (why can’t your real life friends be this cool?). At the same time, while you’re busy enjoying yourself, we’ll see to it that the appropriate public officials get notified and the problem you identified gets dealt with. Or, if said officials prove useless in fixing the busted stuff, we’ll see to it that they endure at least some small measure of public humiliation. It’ll be fun!
While bureaucracies are a necessary evil, perhaps as tools like these become mainstays in our everyday use we become empowered to create the neighborhoods that we see fit. If we don't, then it's a damn waste isn't it?