Healthy Cities status 2/9/03
Description of project
Brainstorming displays

Description of project

My motivation

- interest in public displays
- socially good project
- empowering people by making their actions that improve health more visible
- evaluation techniques for ambient displays

Desired outcomes

- Display updates often enough to change between times people look at it
- People can contribute to a display and see their difference (e.g. adding more data points, or changing behaviors so difference shows up)
- Display is public
- Display is readable at a glance (information visualization

Justification of interviews and surveys


Brainstorming displays

Ideas and sketches of possible displays for the top-scoring factors from the survey

Things that I'd want in any display:
a way to directly participate in it
easily readable data
persuade people to change habits?


Factors of city health with means of at least 4:
Survey results Interview results Display ideas
4.8 schools 1 comment, 1 person
  • Cragmont School and Thousand Oaks were recently-build and beautifully-designed, but others are old and need repair. People try to live in neighborhoods with good schools, and it creates a chasm.

  • 4.7 clean air 5 comments, 3 people
  • Give people clean air - reroute traffic, make places where people donít have to breathe exhaust.

  • 4.6 resource mgmt. 0 comments
    4.6 living wage 2 comments, 1 person
  • Gentrification can basically push out the people who canít afford the new housing, and then all youíve done is move the old community over.
  • Itís bad to not be able to afford to live where you work, but thatís not the residentsí fault.

  • 4.5 individual health 0 comments
    4.5 recycling 0 comments
    4.4 low unemployment 6 comments, 4 people (general safety/poverty)
  • Poverty drives people to be dope dealers, and have late-night parties and sleep the next day, which is out-of-sync with all the people who have regular jobs. It creates friction.

  • 4.3 streetlights 6 comments, 4 people (general safety/poverty)
    4.2 maintenance 3 comments, 2 people
  • When people donít care there are houses, lawns, and streets that arenít taken care of, graffiti, and disrepair, and people go elsewhere to go things.
  • A healthy city is well-maintained - people actually try to better it - and itís complex and intriguing, to take you out of yourself.

  • 4.1 pedestrians 9 comments, 4 people
  • A huge development of Home Depots and supermarkets went in, but you could only get into it in a car, or walk an extra mile. The landlords didnít seem to care.
  • We walk and bike everywhere, and go for walks in the evening, and that defines my neighborhood. ... We know every garden and creek, and the places on the corner to get a sandwich. We get to see the microworld.
  • I like that in Berkeley I can walk - I donít have to go anywhere I canít walk. I can see the slower changes and the seasons, and I get exercise.
  • Walkingís necessary to feel connected to the community, and to get to know a city.
  • I get to know a new place in less than a month, because I get out and walk.
  • Shattuckís a road for cars and not a people space - it needs places where cars canít go.

  • 4.0 public events 6 comments, 4 people
  • I wish I knew more people, and that there were community events in the park.
  • The things that make a city healthy are open space for free concerts, where people can gather and get involved - like markets or town squares.
  • I think [public events] are important, but theyíre not very popular - when you go to an event with way more people, thereís a lot of energy, and you feed off of that. Here, you think, this is good music, but I wish there were more people.

  • 4.0 money in local stores 15 comments, 6 people
  • Money from local businesses goes back into the community, and it reduces pollution and traffic.
  • I think any [store] that you canít find anywhere else, that becomes part of the landscape, that is a member of the community is important.
  • [Shattuck] looks more like what you would find anywhere, rather than being special to Berkeley.
  • I like the variety of stores [along Solano], how every time itís a little bit different. You can be spontaneous and not be disappointed. The merchants make an effort to engage and be active in the community - by sidewalk chalk days, for example.

  • 4.0 racial diversity 11 comments, 5 people (general diversity)
  • If thereís no stratification because thereís no diversity, itís not healthy; but integrated is a more positive way to go.
  • I like being in an area where people donít look or act the same - they have random discussions.

  • green space (140 yes, 3 no, 2 no answer) 12 comments, 5 people
  • In Atlanta, I lived near a park, and felt in touch with the heartbeat of the city. I donít feel like Iím in touch with Berkeley.
  • Parks are a place for people to go, and have a connection with the earth.
  • Shattuck needs less concrete, more green, things on a smaller scale.
  • The chaos, noise, lack of greenery makes people more on edge. Greenery gives breathing space.