TransportCamp: rapid-fire impressions

  1. Not being at the opening circle is a HUGE set-back when it’s a new crowd.
  2. I clearly need to polish up on my how to have the “what is social media?” conversation; but under the circumstances, especially with such a thoughtful bunch, I think the group facilitated itself quite well.
  3. A couple of weeks ago in class, we had a lecture on Planning Support Systems – the official title for “software used in the urban planning field.” The reason they are called that is because they are tools that assist planners in the tasks involved in planning, which is (and is perceived as) a qualitatively different task from operating a transit agency. It was helpful for me to remember this.
  4. My key points: social media is meant to augment the diversity that you might get from more traditional methods (although even the actual diversity of those means are in question). You also tend to engage people at a level of intensity that is quite different: witness the dialogue and comments directed to the Transit Police Twitter account.
  5. I somehow managed to self-select myself into no sessions about community. That’s slightly disappointing.

Gordon Price closed with a rousing call-to-arms, reminding us of the room beyond the walls of BCIT. Coalition-building is the key to advancing a vision of walkable, vibrant communities built for people and not cars. He also stressed the importance of talking about the “nasties” — if we want to build stuff, the money has to come somehow, and it can’t just be about new taxes for the people we don’t like.

All in all, I should probably brush up on what works for me at non-social media powered conferences. Still a fun time. Thanks to Jeremy, the Car Co-op, and their sponsors for the insightful and meaningful space!

Off to drinks.

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