Service Design in the Public Sector
I propose presenting on the capacity of service design to bring about better communities. Using examples such as my complete the street tactical urbanism prototypes, or more recently my work on gentrification in London, I will illustrate how it is possible for both activists and public employees to use service design as a way to engage with key community stakeholders to begin to create communities that truly reflect the needs of citizens as users by promoting justice, effectiveness, and legitimacy. I will delve into a wide range of experiences and insights from using service design as a means to bring about social good. As public managers and political elites begin to see the fruits of these projects, service design can become an integral part of any community’s development.
Collaborating with local government, fellow activists and I prototyped a ‘complete street’ (a street that allows for bicyclists, pedestrians, and automobiles to harmoniously co-exist) at the scale of multiple city blocks in Provo, Utah. Using multiple layers of co-creation, we engaged in what Archon Fung calls ‘Empowered Deliberative Democracy.’ We engaged both public managers and residents to educate and deliberate on the prototypes. This project initiated the creation of a built environment based on the needs of citizens as users, bringing about more effective and informed governance. Successful prototypes created through this service design methodology have recently received financial backing by the city council.