Hi there, this is my first(ish) post here.

An app like Nextdoor is perhaps on the right track, but I think the initiative should come from city officials, or at least be backed by them. I'm aware of the pitfalls of online communities, but there must be a way to facilitate the next step in "I have an idea that may benefit my community".

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Do you use reddit? Every city has a subreddit, though there isn't a ton of discussion about zoning laws. More specifically,  r/neoliberalism is YIMBY adjacent and has local meetups for most cities. There is also YIMBY subreddit. There are also websites like Chicago and new york yimby. Twitter probably has the most vigorous discussion about day to day local issues but it can be a bit hard to settle into following the relevant people.It is possible you can find a group that meets in person via Meetup but it's unlikely.

If you are asking why a separate forum/website doesn't exist, I guess:

  • It might exist and just no one uses it
    • strong agglomeration effects in the forum space. Many of us use hundreds of subforums but only a few forums (or a single meta-forum like feedly)
    • Very little demand
  • It is in fact a good idea but no one has felt incentivized to make it. 

I liked YIMBY's forum organization. It faintly resembles what I had in mind. My city on Twitter  has ~600k followers, but barely any discussions.

I'm thinking literally of the concepts of a Forum, or an Agora. A public place where people meet and exchange ideas. The public square made digital. In my mind seems like such a great idea, and then perhaps I should pursuit it. But if it is so great, why isn't this a thing already? 

Perhaps a Facebook for good deeds. So instead of login in to see what you're 2nd grade teacher ate for breakfast, you will s... (read more)