Gainesville, Florida’s city manager, Anthoy Lyons, is trying to apply human-centered design to his city, based on user experience.

They will be transforming an empty storefront in downtown Gainesville into a pop-up City Hall where residents can share ideas and voice concerns, abandoning traditional public meetings. The hope is that the interactions that arise in that space will spur City’s new Department of Doing, a service where residents will be able to drop in and get a 13-step kit that lays out all of the information needed to open a business, under the guidance of Action Officers. People undertaking a project no longer have to go to multiple departments to receive their approvals.

A report by Fast Co Design, HERE, likened the process to when you pay for a hotel bill, you don’t go from wing to wing trying to check out, you simply report to the concierge.

The City of Gainesville has just hired the new Director of the Department of Doing, Wendy Thomas, on September 27, 2016.

Gainesville has also launched a service, 311GNV, where citizens can log complaints via mobile phones by taking photos of things like broken streetlights or missing street signs, and send them to the City directly.


Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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