Skip directly to content
This is the archive site of Global Sustainability Jam 2011-2018. From 2019 on please visit

Los Amigos' Project

Use technology for local communities to imagine and co-create ways to use neglected spaces

The issues we want to confront:
-Neglected land is going to waste that could be used in a socially beneficial way
-Citizens are disengaged from their communities and communication between them is limited
-Environmental awareness is a popular term but not engaged with practically
-Latent resources are going unused amongst the community - both material and immaterial

We want to value:
-Sustainability in the environment and in social cohesion
-We want to focus on communities and pay them the respect they deserve

Our idea:
-To engage technology and communities to make use of neglected space

Lambeth council has agreed to let us use an empty public space! Some estate agents and private landlords in the area have also expressed an interest in letting us use their empty properties. A site with a map can be annotated to identify spaces people would like to be used.

The process starts 'on the ground' with a publicity campaign to let the local community know about the project.

This would be both on and offline e.g. by billboards, by stickers on the property and by social media networks.

People from the community get in touch to say what they can contribute to the project. This can be local businesses who can offer equipment or services, local people willing to volunteer their time and expertise and existing community groups who can help.

Once we know what resources are available to us, the information is put online and a set of options for what the space can be used for are voted on to arrive at the most popular option.

The winning option becomes an interactive space in a game to be accessed online by local residents, similar to a facebook app. The available resources such as plants, food, entertainment &c. can be dragged onto a map that shows where the items can be appropriately placed. The time limit and budget is displayed. 30 days are allowed to submit all the possible layouts.

A comment stream is featured from social media plugins so that people not playing the game, including people outside the local community can give their opinions and advice.

After the 30 days the submitted layouts are voted on. The winning design becomes the actual plan for the space.

Then the plan starts getting made for real. All the people willing to volunteer get together to plan the logistics. The whole process is documented and uploaded to the site so people can carry on watching the progress of the project and giving feedback.

Once finished, the space is launched with an event, where everyone involved in any aspect of the project is invited to attend.

So where could this lead in the future? Depending on the response the use of the space could be extended/repeated/expanded. Hopefully the project enthuses the community and makes them feel good about their contributions, recognising the wealth of skills in their community and the impact they can have individually. Because the process drives communication between groups in the community that wouldn't normally share ideas, who knows where it could lead?

If successful, the project could be exported to other areas - even internationally?? As the project continues to expand, the different examples continue to be shared. The online platform can share learning, experiences and hopefully spread enthusiasm!

CC Licence: 
Creative Commons Licence