You might have read the post on Detroit bankruptcy and some of the possible implications for infrastructure management in my previous blog post.
In the Ingenium 2013 Conference Paper Series on the future of infrastructure management, I noted that in a constrained fiscal environment, and with a growing retired but healthy population, there could be a rise in volunteer work to maintain services – particularly in the parks and property areas.
The video shown above exemplifies service delivery innovation that is occurring in Detroit. Lead by ordinary citizens becoming involved, they just get on with the job because they can see the need.
There’s no doubt this type of volunteerism will generate much analysis on the drivers and the motivations, and perhaps how it is unfair this only occurs in some neighbourhoods (they are only maintaining 6 or 7 parks out of 100’s in the city).
From an infrastructure management service delivery point of view, it is very interesting to think about:
- the base level of services that communities want;
- what communities will do; and
- how they will organise to deliver those services;
The truth is that service delivery models are changing all the time and innovation comes in small steps.
In the video above, the clean up started with a concerned citizen buying a secondhand mower off an internet list site and getting on with the job.
It will be very interesting to continue to watch Detroit and see where these small innovations lead as the citizens of the city reclaim the services they want delivered.