Public tools as public services
When is a tool a service? These pictures show the Boris’s bike scheme and a set of public tool for skiers and snowboarders in Whistler (thanks to Flickr’s dreamerkatherine for the bike pic). They each make public capital available to borrow in unexpected ways, and I love both of them. Along with the scheme in Lambeth to make tools available to locals to clear derelict land, I wonder if they are part of a trend in public services for providing people with the tools to do things for themselves. (I mentioned the Lambeth example in my recent post about post-crunch trends in public services).
On the one hand, that’s the kind of DIY rhetoric that we often hear from conservatives. At the same time, I can’t help thinking that the reality of state ownership of bicycles and garden tools is pretty striking to many of them. Maybe the ‘common ownership of the means of production’ hasn’t had it’s day after all. Are there other examples of ‘public tools’ out there that I’m missing?