Santa Monica Lookout
|Downtown Santa Monica Officials Unveil New Survey App||
By Lookout Staff
July 11, 2016 -- Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) has launched a new app that allows visitors to quickly weigh in on their vision for the beach city's thriving central business district.
Borrowing the interactive swipe tools from popular dating services, CitySwipe offers a "quick-fire questionnaire" that features visual slides and simple prompts to "help define consensus visions" for the city's Downtown, DTSM officials said.
"CitySwipe exists to fashion a collective vision from a younger, busier, less-vocal district demographic, and hopefully match that vision to create a better future," officials said.
The 38-question survey asks visitors to identify the users' location and preferred method of transportation, then presents a series of visual slides on "city-planning topics such as public parking, art installations, and new development preferences."
"The prompts are simple, and like dating apps, driven by imagery that encourages impulse 'like' or 'dislike' decisions," officials said.
Launched on June 7, the app comes in the midst of a heated debate over the draft “Downtown Community Plan,” a 15-year blueprint for the area that has been in the works for more than six years.
Formerly called the Downtown Specific Plan, the blueprint addresses everything from building heights and density to preservation, open space, parking and traffic.
The draft plan was originally scheduled to go before the City Council this summer, but in March, after some two dozen workshops, formal discussions and hearings, City Manager Rick Cole called for a pause in the process to gather further community input. ("Downtown Santa Monica Plan Delayed Yet Again," March 31, 2016.
Slow growth advocates have denounced the draft plan, which they say will lead to over-development and worsen traffic.
The Downtown survey "will mine public opinion on key issues" raised in the Downtown Community Plan, Downtown officials said.
"It's exciting to have developed a new way to interact with our district," said DTSM Director Mackenzie Carter. "People are busy and their inboxes are full.
CitySwipe has been promoted through e-blasts, community meetings, residential buildings, co-working spaces and social media campaigns and "response has been positive," officials said
"Users want to see more programmed public spaces, unique special events, nightlife, and art," Downtown officials said.
The draft Downtown Community Plan is expected to go before the Council next spring, City officials said.
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