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Thread: Crowdsourcing plan checks [Was: Plan check to the people]

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    Crowdsourcing plan checks [Was: Plan check to the people]

    Do you think we can crowdsource plan checking?

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andBlue View post
    Do you think we can crowdsource plan checking?
    Hey good morning. Let me be the first to welcome you to Cyburbia.

    There are many eager people on this board who can help you but I'm afraid that if all you are going to get is a one line answer back to this question. Please elaborate a little more. Not every planner speaks the same language so explain what plan checking is, how it could be useful, and where it would fit into crowdsourcing.

    Again, welcome!
    @GigCityPlanner

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Welcome

    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Please elaborate a little more.
    Not every planner speaks the same language so explain what ... is crowdsourcing.
    Agreed
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andBlue View post
    Do you think we can crowdsource plan checking?
    Welcome

    I recommend everyone read the scenario analysis done by the Sacramento Blueprint group. This laudable success does not, however, lend itself to open source plan review.

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    Hi, thanks for the welcome.
    I'm not a city planner, but I thought developers submitted plans to the planners. It was to my understanding that planners had to review the submitted plans before construction went on. This is what I meant by plan checking.

    I was thinking that perhaps the reviewing could be done by the internet community. The the plans could be scanned using a large blueprint scanner, then posted on a website. The website could be divided into municipalities, kind of like Craigslist.

    The website could make money from advertisements. Contractors and stuff would probably want to advertise on said website.

    The internet community plan checkers earn the money this website makes.

    I recommend everyone read the scenario analysis done by the Sacramento Blueprint group.
    ColoGI, I have also been mulling over this idea of open source urban planning/architecture for the last year and a half.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andBlue View post
    Hi, thanks for the welcome.
    I'm not a city planner, but I thought developers submitted plans to the planners. It was to my understanding that planners had to review the submitted plans before construction went on. This is what I meant by plan checking.

    I was thinking that perhaps the reviewing could be done by the internet community. The the plans could be scanned using a large blueprint scanner, then posted on a website. The website could be divided into municipalities, kind of like Craigslist.

    The website could make money from advertisements. Contractors and stuff would probably want to advertise on said website.

    The internet community plan checkers earn the money this website makes.

    ColoGI, I have also been mulling over this idea of open source urban planning/architecture for the last year and a half.
    I do like this out-of-the-box thinking. I don't want to say no, and I'm not finding lots of reasons to say yes. I'm interested in others thoughts.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    There are agencies that do plan checks for communities. I believe they are all based on the building code aspects. The International Codes Council offers this service along with many independent consultant firms.

    The issue with outsourcing zoning reviews is that there is no widely accepted model zoning code. Each jurisdiction has its own querky provisions. With building codes, there are but two widely accepted models.

    When I leave Greensburg I will certainly offer my services to review any development projects where I could help. And it could be from a remote location. I can do this because I am familiar with the local codes and the particular situation.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Legal ramifications aside. I don't see this being a reality.

    Every municipality has land use regulations that should be based on their master plan and provide the outcome they desire. Thus I don't see how letting the public have an opportunity to have hands on review of all projects makes sense, the result would be what the group the crowd sourced the plan desired not what the town desired.

    However, I do feel that there is room for crowd sourcing master plans, small area plans, and land use regulations. I wrote a two part article on crowd sourcing in planning on my blog if you want to check it out.
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Legal ramifications aside. I don't see this being a reality.

    Every municipality has land use regulations that should be based on their master plan and provide the outcome they desire. Thus I don't see how letting the public have an opportunity to have hands on review of all projects makes sense, the result would be what the group the crowd sourced the plan desired not what the town desired.
    If you have Joe Sixpack doing plan review, he can type his opinion within a 20-day window and call it good, then the professional planners can cut-paste the comments into their staff report under 'public comments', then go ahead and complete their review.

    Maybe once in a while you'll see something that you missed, the chance being greater if somehow a professional in the crowd reviews it.

    Otherwise, IMHO you are just going to get comments about elevation and NIMBY and 'how much will this cost'. The last thing professionals are going to do at home is plan review. But maybe this interface software can be a 'Green Job' for a couple companies and the municipality can say they are being more open in their processes...

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    ColoGI I think you are missing the point about what crowdsourcing is. All you really proposed there is allowing public comment through an internet portal within a 20 day window. I'm sure there are actually cities that have something similar, I know you can post comments about certain NEPA projects online for some states.

    True crowdsourcing is coming to a community agreed upon design, model, or solution by tapping the skills of all individuals, but the most important part is that the community has agreed upon, though sometimes reluctantly, the final result.
    @GigCityPlanner

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Oh, CROWDsourcing. Now I get it. I agree with TIDE that it is great when devising plans and regs. And I don't see how it would work with project reviews. What would a developer think?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I would also be concerned about the potential for bias. A great deal of screening of the reviewers would need to be performed.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post

    True crowdsourcing is coming to a community agreed upon design, model, or solution by tapping the skills of all individuals, but the most important part is that the community has agreed upon, though sometimes reluctantly, the final result.
    Oh, nooooo. No. No way. Srlsy? That is what is proposed?

    How will the developer run their private project, how will he carry the paper for longer, how will she herd these cats? Who decides on conflict of interest? Who decides on a change log? How are FCOs handled? Pre-applications and negotiations?

    No.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Oh, nooooo. No. No way. Srlsy? That is what is proposed?

    How will the developer run their private project, how will he carry the paper for longer, how will she herd these cats? Who decides on conflict of interest? Who decides on a change log? How are FCOs handled? Pre-applications and negotiations?

    No.
    English Please.
    @GigCityPlanner

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    I was just reading something that had nothing to do with planning per se, but was about crowdsourcing design of consumer products. It got me to thinking about crowdsourcing comprehensive plans and area plans. It seems like it could be a big virtual charrette. Does anyone have any experience with such a thing, or comments on the idea?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    It's hard not to be defensive about this topic...trying to keep an open mind and see good applications for it, but plan review?

    The crowdsourcing model assumes that the various intelligences among a large group of people will come to a consensus on a better product/idea/review than a small group of specialists.

    This would also assume that there is no real specialization in planning or knowledge that is special to planners. After spending $30K on a masters degree and 15 years honing my specialized knowledge, I really bristle about the idea that a large group of knuckleheads could do my job better than I could.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    English Please.
    An untrained crowd doing real plan review? Seriously? Who of them would attend the pre-app? Who approves the change order? How does the developer interface with this crowd? Who is responsible for delays? Responsible period?

    No.

  18. #18
    Would it work to put the plans online so that public comments could be solicited? I dont mean letting people amend anything, but just to look at the proposal.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    Would it work to put the plans online so that public comments could be solicited? I dont mean letting people amend anything, but just to look at the proposal.
    That was originally what I thought the proposal was for, with modification, but apparently this isn't so pedestrian, and apparently it is charette-like, but for plan review.

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