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Hub2 on Smart City; at Tufts’ CERG

Smart City Eric Gordon had an extensive interview with the public radio show Smart City last week to discuss Hub2 and “the new meaning of community.” Listen now.

We also had a very fun and productive chat with Tufts’ Civic Engagement Research Group on Friday. What interests me is that after so many years of Blizzard, Linden Labs, and everyone else pushing virtual worlds into the mainstream that most people we speak with nowadays “get it,” even if they’ve never experienced a virtual world firsthand. Many of the audience’s questions dealt with the nitty-gritty difficulties of grassroots organizing in general — for example, how to handle diverse communities with conflicting values. This is the reality we’re facing as we begin talking with real development projects in real neighborhoods: Hub2 will not help, for example, neighbors to figure out to balance the contradictory impulses towards helping each other out with selfish NIMBYism. But at least we might help knock out some of the design concerns — e.g. that public housing will be too dense — so that they can get to the values discussion with fewer distractions.

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