Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Birmingham Big City Plan

I'm posting on this for two reasons.  Today the City Council published an on line Charter for the next stage of the city's development.  The document is a beautifully designed, simple piece of work that inspires you to turn the page, read more, get excited, etc. etc.  You can download the entire 2 megabyte document as a pdf file.  It is an excellent exercise in good communications.
The first level of excitement is that the process to get to this stage has involved ordinary people.  Not simple questionnaires that encourage people to complain.  No.  Real involvement.  One example is in this Stef Lewandowski post and the ensuing comments, more of which in a moment.
Stef introduced me to the concept of crowd-sourcing in this post and this is proving to be a powerful tool.  It would be so easy to think of crowd-sourcing as lip service by highly paid consultants, but even the consultants seem to understand their vulnerability these days, so lip service hasn't been the case as a quick perusal of the charter document will demonstrate.
Which brings me to the second level of excitement.  As pointed out in Stef's latest post on the subject, the document draws on several comments from the original post, including this one:

(Page 44)  You could knock me down with a 1/2 ounce feather!