design thinking initiatives for a better urban life
Cambridge, is home to numerous world-class universities including Harvard and MIT and over 105,000 residents that can be broken apart into three distinct groups, professionals, a strong working class, and the largest segment with over 40%, the students. More so, the governing bodies including the city and the universities are plagued with misaligned interests exposed through their resource allocation and differentiation of waste streams. Through quantitative and qualitative research including numerous interviews with a variety of stakeholders including the “city”, MIT, Harvard, and a survey that was completed by over 180 students and residents across the city. The research showed that the city has been left holding the “bag” at the end of the day. From each stakeholder’s perspective, waste was merely a byproduct of inconvenience. This spans each socioeconomic group that was contacted, and each institution, no matter how large or small—it is a matter of convenience.
This discovery, novel at best, led us to look for a moment to intervene within the system—one that is universal and would capitalize on current behaviors that could morph based upon the time of year, or the needs of the users. (more…)