Can the “Office of New Urban Mechanics” Break the Logjam at City Hall?
Philadelphia’s city government is famous for functioning badly, when it functions at all. Now the newly created Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is aiming to cut through the red tape and create more nimble ways to make the city better. It already spearheaded the Citizinvestor project to let residents “crowd fund” donations to specific, small-scale infrastructure projects, and will soon launch projects involving Textizen and Neighborhow services. The office is designed to be the part of City Hall that experiments while more established departments focus on delivering their traditional services. “The mayor said if we don’t fail, we’re not trying hard enough,” says Story Bellows, the office’s co-director. “And we’ve certainly taken that to heart.” [Technically Philly]