Monday, November 30, 2009

Looking for a place to rent in NYC?

Where will you start making your research? Probably most of us will feel inclined to get the local newspaper or, if affordable, go to the Real States broker that can help us to make up our mind about our ideal home.

I was fascinated to read that New York City renters will be more informed about their options and rights in Playing House: Two Cool Tools for New York Renters (Nov 2009), thanks to the Center of Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and many partner organizations who worked together to make this information easy to understand. CUP has used its expertise about “making educational projects about places and how they change” to explain NY neighbors about what affordable housing implies. It is an interesting way to match a need with an innovative way to reach the population with digital and material/tactile tools. The idea of developing these tools for conventional and digital learners implies to be aware about different ways to reach the target population, in a wide spectrum: NY citizens! If such a big city has found ways to interact with their local inhabitants, is it not possible to assume this challenge from the non-profit and the public sector?

The Envisioning Development Toolkits includes a map (the Flash Map and/or the Felt Chart) as well as a guide that provides the orientation about their use. Additionally, as part of this novel idea, a Tenant’s Rights Guide has been developed as a friendly boxed set of 30 flash cards. In all the cases, the digital formats are free and the other ones imply a lower cost. There is no option to postpone civic participation with IT possibilities and, especially, to make it a user friendly experience.