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Boston's Office Of New Urban Mechanics Hires First In-House Developer

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, October 5 2012

Boston's office of New Urban Mechanics is hiring former Code for America Fellow Michael Evans as its first in-house developer as it seeks to build out a team of "civic technologists." Evans, 32, starts his new job in ... Read More

What is "New Urban Mechanics" and Why Does Philadelphia Want Some?

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 3 2012

When Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced on Monday that Philadelphia will get a new arm of city government called the Office of New Urban Mechanics, he was signing on to a sizable experiment in how government is supposed to work.

Nutter's administration is emulating a program Boston City Hall put in place two years ago to find innovative — you might also say "untested" — ideas and see if they can make government work better. The Boston Office of New Urban Mechanics is just a handful of people led by Nigel Jacob, a former programmer, and Chris Osgood, a city official who came to Boston after a stint at New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation. Their job is to help those new solutions to old problems navigate the often tricky hallways of city bureaucracy.

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Boston's Street Bump coming to Britain

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 26 2012

The smartphone app Street Bump, which allows users to report potholes and was first tested in Boston last year, is now also coming to Bristol in the United Kingdom, the BBC and the Sunday Times (of London) reported. The idea behind the application, as CNN recently reported, is that a smartphone's accelerometer senses potholes while driving, and then sends that data with a GPS coordinate to a city database, to create a "real-time" map of road conditions, and catch critical road conditions earlier. Read More

'Through the Wall:' Code for America, One Year On

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 17 2011

Image courtesy Code for America

Code for America launched last year to see if coding talent and information-technology knowledge could help big municipal governments make their cities better without spending a whole lot of money, modernizing city hall ... Read More

Chicago CTO Says Senior Municipal Staff are Changing the Way Cities Work

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 28 2011

Chicago at night. Photo: Rhys Asplundh / Flickr Mayors across the United States are tasking senior staffers with changing the way their cities work, Chicago Chief Technology Officer John Tolva said during an interview ... Read More

Code for America: Developers Pledge to Connect Citizens, and Each Other, in 2011

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 17 2010

In 2011, a group of 20 technologists across the country will test a theory: Given coding talent and information-technology knowledge, big municipal governments can make their cities better without spending a whole lot of ... Read More