Harnessing collective intelligence to choose London's new bridge.

To rate 74 projects, a traditional survey is a joke. Here is a much better proposal, using a free Internet tool.

In London I live in Pimlico, between Victoria station and the river. The other side of the Thames, between Vauxhall bridge and the iconic Battersea power station, is currently redevelopped on a large scale, including an extension of the Underground. And there will be a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

An international competition is underway nepbridgecompetition.co.uk : 74 sketches of preliminary submissions have just been published. A jury will nominate next month 4 of them for the next stage.

In the meantime members of the public can add their input... The way it's done is a disgrace. I went yesterday to see the exhibition, it looks like a classroom project: 74 pictures are displayed on panels, here is a survey and a pen, please tell us the 4 you like best and the 4 you dislike most.

Can you rank 74 projects in your brain? This just can't work and ends collecting rather impressionist views in which the first and last pictures you look at are most likely to figure.

Well, there is a better way, thanks to research done at Princeton University allourideas.org and used all around the world by people from right and left interested in crowdsourcing to improve democracy. And it is fun, as it asks to vote between two ideas or projects randomly paired - again, and again. The more you vote, the more votes are cast, the better an image of the collective ranking will emerge.

It's open source, so could be customized easily. I just used the free tool provided to produce quickly this "wiki survey" (the boring part was the uploading of the 74 pictures): please vote, wherever you are, and spread the word, especially if you are in London!

#allourideas #nepbridge #london #crowdsourcing #democracy

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