Unlimited Cities is not a tool for citizens to bring good ideas to governments and technicians.
This view is intuitive and seems perfectly logical to people who have not used the tool. However, this vision is also terribly reductive. Worse, it often provokes the rejection of professionals, whether they are governments, technicians or designers.
In all the real life implementations, Unlimited cities acts as a producer of transitional objects (the commented mixes*) that allow to change the relationships and the postures between actors.
Indeed, the mixes open up new types of deliberation chains;
- on the one hand, the professionals are surprised by the precision and creativity of the proposals,
- on the other hand, the contributors are reassured by the listening and the serious processing of the information they bring.
These main groups, to which we must add the stakeholders, are then able to create _together_ radically innovative projects, from the creative material produced by the commented mixes. CF FreeSpace in the Canton of Geneva, Perpective Ligne Chrono in Grenoble, Villages/Metropolises of the future in China, etc.
- One of the main contributions of non-professionals to professionals is the natural ability to think outside of silos and to de-center their specialized business logics in order to link them in a holistic way.
- One of the main contributions of professionals to non-professionals is the concrete demonstration of the care that is taken to deal with the complex and contradictory logics of the territory.
These renewed relationships around territorial living labs have a regenerative effect on democracy.
* The "commented mixes" are these quick collages to create and to comment to illustrate how we would like to see an environment evolve in 2 years, 10 years or 30 years. These commented mixes are the foundations, realized by all, of a collective intelligence process that will develop over time.