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iOS & Android Mobile App Writer's Guide

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City Design Methods

Welcome to City Design Methods – the Mobile App iOS & Android coming Fall 2016 A project of GreaterPlaces – recently named a Planetizen “Top 10” resource for urban planning best practices.

NEXT STEP GO MOBILE This Writers' Guide guide details: (1) An overview of the app, it's value proposition, benefits & features, (2) How to contribute your content, images, attributions, (3) Uploading your content, images, attributions, and (4) Getting the most out of your write-ups on the app For more information or to schedule a Lunch & Learn in the DC or Boston area: Lisa Nisenson, CEO @nisenson 202-744-6854 Sarah Lewis, Head of Design @dcurbangirl 202-744-2722

City Design Methods App What problems do we need to solve? Unlike interior design, urban design has no tech-powered resource connecting people seeking ideas with innovators doing the work

There is no one resource that aggregates all aspects of city & town design under one digital roof For public engagement, there is no one resource that meets all stakeholders where they are on the learning curve Small&mediumfirmsneedinnovative,data-driven alternativestoexpensiveprint,digital&tradeshowpackages




We reach all stakeholders involved in city design

We assemble all disciplines and departments

We track search, likes & app activity to spot trends


Civic groups, Writers Non-Profits, Businesses & Academia



Officials, Commissions Department Heads Real Estate Developers

Planners, Architects, Civil Engineers, Housing & more

Currently 600 subscribers + 1500 social media followers

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The Mobile App - Overview Why a Mobile App? Constant engagement with news feeds Access information anywhere on-the-fly "How to" methods presented by topic & by problems addressed Short write-ups with links to GreaterPlaces for in-depth information First-of-its kind marketing platform for affordable, linked advertising Latest tech for notifications, camera & video, linking & visibility

What's New - Newsletter City Design Methods Menu

Problem-Solution Menu

Marketplace Special Method Collections

Send Us Ideas & Images Bookmark Favorites My Account

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How to Use the App

The Mobile App - Structure 1) App Home Screen

2) Home Slider Menu

4) Topic Menu with Methods

5) Individual Methods

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3) City Design Method Menu of Topics

City Design Method Menu 1

"The urban design textbook that never goes out of date"

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The Fundamentals Starter lists of Methods

City Design Method Menu 2

"The urban design textbook that never goes out of date"

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Innovation Starter lists of Methods

Anatomy of a Method Write-up Image

Image, graphic or photo best size 1200 x 800 p Image Credit


Summary 2-3 sentences

Method Benefits 2-3 benefits or problems addressed. Lead with 3-4 words for quick reading

Tips & Techniques 5 points readers need to know about adopting this method. 5th point ALWAYS "Hot Button" on potential areas of controversy


Link to Experts Link to the Marketplace:: people, firms & non-profits who specialize in this method (services & products).


Links to expanded information on GreaterPlaces Additional images as collection grows Links to videos Features defined by users

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2-3 of best examples with hyperlinks to source

How to Write-Up a Method Steps to building an amazing resource 1) Users: Our Reference User: the civic innovator seeking inspiration & problem solving Get inside the life of users & what they need - What are their pain points?

Engineer needs tools to communicate street retrofits that work for all travellers

New PTA president wants to solve traffic problems & safety around schools

City manager wants to solve impacts of new development at the early stages of urban design

Consortium of non-profits wants to leverage smart city technology for equity

2) Content: Writing Level & Voice: Practical, information-rich text written for a knowledgeable, but not technical, audience

Check the City Design Methods page on GreaterPlaces for lists and ideas

Brainstorm Your best work Images with best stories Methods you want at hand Methods clients must know Problem-solving methods

We have a Google form to make it easy!

Start Writing! Send filled form We review We follow up for images

Pointers Image quality is everything! You MUST own rights & able to assign us usage

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Getting the Most from Your Write-Up Make your mark on the new world of city design

Pre-Launch (Summer 2016) Help us build the collection - you get image credits! We'll send outreach kits leading to launch - spread the word

SubmitaWriteup Launch (Fall 2016) The real fun begins! Download the iOS/Android app Use the share functions in the app to broadcast your work. More activity = more visibility

Collection: we will continue to grow the collection Methods: we will monitor questions & activity to ensure each write-up is helpful. We will collect more images and articles over time - stay ahead Consulting: Hire us to help design methods for your city Advertising: Join the marketplace (free until January 2017):

Advertising Kit

Submit aMarketplace Profile

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Help City Design Innovate!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 1) Who owns the content I provide? You own all rights to images and content. Like Pinterest and other online content aggregators, you grant us broad rights to post, re-publish, share, modify and otherwise use. This allows us to promote content even as technology changes without having to gain permission with each adaptation. We include credits for your images because we believe credit where credit is due (and to help people find you). 2) Can I promote my own work? Of course - We may edit to ensure the most helpful presentation for our users. As the app grows, we will also begin to add multiple images for each method from a variety of contributors. This helps users and adds credibility to the site and its contributors. 3) There are a lot of (often competing) definitions of a "best" practice - how will you handle? We welcome a diversity of opinions - your experience helps clarify the conditions and combinations of methods that boost success. We also list "hot buttons" in each write up to address areas of potential controversy. Each method has a comment section - and we will track views, likes and other input to see which methods/write-ups are most helpful. 4) What is a "reference user?" Is the app for professionals or citizens? As trends in open government accelerate, more people are coming to the planning & governing table; we want everyone to be inspired & prepared. The reference user is ANYONE shaping community: motivated, knowledgeable, questioning, willing to try new approaches and willing to explore a range of options 5) How will the app handle advertising and sponsored content? Our approach to advertising is: (1) we need revenue to support an ambitious, useful resource to improve cities and towns; (2) affordable advertising for medium/small firms provides a useful avenue for innovation; (3) advertising should provide a service & information; and (4) sponsored content is clearly marked. We do not charge people who upload content (a form of free advertising), but do charge for links. For more on advertising - see our Advertising Kit. 6) Will the app be free? Yes. Over time, we expect to add premium features such as files, virtual reality apps, and method card printing. 7) What are Special Collections? These are combinations of methods that do not fit within a design category. This catch-all section allows us to target specific planning challenges (e.g., designing for density, Town & Gown). Authors can also use as a digital pamphlet for a new publication. Coming 2017.

Writers guide  

How to write methods for the City Design Methods app (coming Fall 2016)

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