If Vancouver were to implement lean startup methodologies in this process, it might look something like this.
- Develop a hypothesis: By systematically and strategically removing parking spaces throughout the city and replacing them with green spaces and/or community spaces, we will increase the amount of residents interacting with each other on the same city block.
- Determine a set of metrics to test the hypothesis: Measure at different times of the day, on weekdays and weekends, the number of residents on the street before and after the test project. They could also measure the amount of time residents stay in the area before and after.
- Develop an MVP: In this case, I think the city did a good job with a very low-cost, low-impact test project (instead of trying to install 1,000 benches throughout the city all at once in the hopes that it would work).
- Measure the results: Using low-cost sensors and perhaps observers or even using a mobile app, apply the metrics in step two.
- Iterate: Leveraging the analysis in step four, experiment with similar models. For example, what would happen in the same location if they converted the space to a few stationary bikes or a mini art exhibit?
- Measure the results and create another MVP.