The Community Voice Box will have its own pollution tracking technology, as well as enable several methods of data gathering. Residents who visit the solar and pedal-powered trailer can leave an audio, video, or written message about their thoughts on environmental advocacy in relation to their community. Because visiting the trailer site will be warm weather dependent, community members will also be able to add their thoughts via the website. The presence of the physical trailer is important though, since it will be staffed with students, educated on the available scientific information and operation of technical devices, that would act as docents and host the community involvement workshops.
The concept will become a reality later this summer, aided by winnings that the pair received from the non-profit group Design Makes Change. The Community Voice Box was awarded first place in the challenge to design a change agent for the Pilsen neighborhood because the idea embraces community-based participatory research, and it could be a model for communities everywhere to follow as a method of environmental advocacy. The concept development for the project will be on display at several Chicago venues this month, along with the other competition winners.