We spend a considerable amount time in our office discussing issues that people face outside of our walls everyday. Seems a bit backwards doesn't it? We understand that staying within our comfort zones does not foster creativity, nor a thriving environment for the innovation process.
That is why we've made it a priority to reach beyond our walls to grasp what is happening throughout the city. We've had the privilege to meet with members of the business community, the tech world, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Water, and many more.
In early August we had our first opportunity to engage community leaders and residents about their infrastructure concerns and ideas. It was both eye opening and validating.
At the Southside Innovation Center we met with leaders and members of the Southside TNT. Many of the issues that were expressed during our meeting were issues that we had internally discussed in our office. Speaking with community members fortified our thought process and helped our team to have even more trust (or faith if you will) in the innovation process.
Our experience was also eye-opening. Throughout our discussion some new issues were raised that we hadn't yet considered.
Here are just a few of things that we learned from this meeting:
- Residents would like to see a single portal to report and view the status of their service requests or complaints.
- Community members take great pride in their neighborhood, and would like to see more efforts that focus on keeping the community clean and beautiful.
- Some would like to see a notification process for construction projects.
- People would like to see more accountability and transparency from the City and other related stakeholders, such as National Grid and Centro.
- Residents felt that there were inconsistencies in road repair quality throughout different neighborhoods.
We enjoyed meeting with the Southside community, and we look forward to having more interactions with residents, community members, and leaders.