Crowdsource the code: everyone should edit the land use code!

The world's most sustainable monarchy want you to edit the code.

Anyone who knows me well knows I have some unusual political views. Democracy is fine as an idea. But leadership is also something that is important. It’s easy to forget that we didn’t invent democracy on July4, 1776 or that we secured our “freedoms” on various battlefields all over the globe. All of that is great rhetoric. But experts and leaders matter. And Copenhagen, the worlds most sustainable city, has a queen and a state church. So much for the idea that you can’t have it all!

Then why am I experimenting with a hoi polloi edit of Seattle’s Land Use Code? We need more debate and discussion about land use in this town and everywhere. And I can’t think of a better way to incite some of that than by letting people get on their computer and start making their own comments, edits, and improvements to the DNA of our built environment. As something of a Burkean I value order and tradition. But as an urbanist I also love the rough and tumble of a crowd (not a line, a crowd).

Please, get involved. What do you think the opening section of our code should say? How about subdivisions?

Here’s the link:

Please no vandalism. Or you’ll have to write lines.

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2 Responses to Crowdsource the code: everyone should edit the land use code!

  1. Matt the Engineer says:

    Has the thing been vandalized already, or did you add the bit about banning the tunnel?

    Oh, and I think we should change our democracy every now and then. Let’s start by having the houses use hidden ballots to remove 90% of the politics. Backroom deals and quid pro quo would disappear because you couldn’t prove how you actually voted.

  2. . says:

    Yeah, somebody got in there and added funny stuff.

    But we’re on the same page. Secret votes on land use issues might help.

    Counterintuitive but true.

    Another thing that would help: allow closed door meetings for the Council on land use issues. If they could actually argue with each other openly without worry about how it would play in the papers, they might reach better decisions.

    When all the business has to be in public, then, often, the real business goes behind the scenes anyway.

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