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ChangeByUs, a New Platform For Citizen Engagement, Launches Today in Beta

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

The City of New York today launched Change By Us NYC, its collaboration with Brooklyn-based design firm Local Projects, a platform for New Yorkers to propose projects and ideas to improve the city, then work together to make them happen.

The project's website promises that city Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith is among the New York luminaries "listening" to the activity of the site.

Change By Us NYC is a riff on the CEOs for Cities and Local Projects initiative Give a Minute. Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised it in his State of the City speech in January.

"In the year ahead, we’ll launch online forums where every City employee – and every New Yorker – can post ideas that he or she thinks will improve services or save the City money. Others will be able to comment on those proposals, and then we’ll implement the best ones," Bloomberg said at the time, according to his prepared remarks. "This kind of open call for ideas – or ‘crowdsourcing,’ as it’s called – has helped cutting-edge companies like Facebook and Netflix improve services and save money. And with more than 8.4 million people in our crowd, imagine what we can come up with."

The notables who will be reading and responding to the projects that appear are Goldsmith; city Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway; Solar One's director of green career development, Diallo Shabazz; and Green City Force Corps founder and executive director Lisbeth Shepherd.

(With Andrew Seo)