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Civic Hacking

Today, government and public life is being reimagined and reconfigured by a new generation of civic engineers. Only instead of using concrete and steel, they're using data and code. Some come from inside government, where they're opening up public data to outsiders and inviting developers to work with them on new kinds of services and apps. Others aren't waiting for government to act, and they're hacking on the public space using data that they scrape from government sites along with bottom-up data that the public itself generates and shares. Together they're building new ways of identifying problems and solutions, connecting the public and government, and making things work better. Meet the civic hackers.

How to Hack Public Meetings

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 6 2011

A public meeting in Edmonton, Canada. Photo: Mack Male / Flickr Hidden in dusty cabinets and squirreled away in boxes in city halls across the country, the minutes of local government meetings record the civic pulse of ... Read More

Code for America's Chief Geek Says Civic Hackers Should Fix Hackathons Next

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 18 2011

Hackathons like the July 30 Hack for Japan event in Tokyo generate excitement and new connections, but how much of that energy is wasted? Photo: Yusuke Kawasaki / Flickr Spending a year in a city hall somewhere, dragging ... Read More

Vivek Kundra's Tips for Smarter Government

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 14 2011

At the Sunlight Foundation* blog, Daniel Schuman recaps ten principles for improving federal transparency that federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra delivered during testimony before a House Committee on ... 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

Civic Commons Gets Funding, Andrew McLaughlin

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 1 2011

Andrew McLaughlin, Civic Commons' new executive director, in 2008. Photo: Joi Ito/Flickr The fledgling open-source-for-governments project Civic Commons will launch as a nonprofit with the help of a $250,000 grant from ... Read More

On 'Cities as Software'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 23 2011

Marcus Westbury, the festival organizer who led an effort to reinvigorate the downtown in his native Newcastle, Australia, by filling it with small businesses, art installations and temporary uses, shares an article he ... Read More

WeGov

Bright Lights, Small City: Is Tiny Roosevelt Island a Microcosm of Urban Innovation's Future?

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 9 2011

The Roosevelt Island tram, one of the only urban tram systems in the country. Photo: Shinya Suzuki / flickr Jonathan Kalkin gets excited when he talks about his latest scheme, a plan to build one of the world's first ... Read More

Chicago's New CTO Is a 'Smarter Cities' Alpha Geek

BY Nick Judd | Friday, April 22 2011

John Tolva, the former director of citizenship and technology at IBM, will be the next chief technology officer for the City of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. Read More

In Boston, City Hall Pursues Innovation In-House

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 21 2011

Nigel Jacob, co-chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics. Photo: Nick Judd / techPresident

Cities across the country seek to lay the groundwork for innovative third parties to build on, based on the premise that city government is too inflexible or narrow-minded to be the best host for ground-breaking work. ... Read More

A Map of the U.S. Open Government World

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 6 2011

GovLoop, GOOD, former U.S. Deputy CTO Beth Noveck, and open gov researcher Angie Newell team up to create a clickable visualization that maps out more than 350 federal open government projects. Read More

Austin City Limits: What's Holding Back Government Innovation in Austin, Texas?

BY Nick Judd | Friday, March 4 2011

Why can't the City of Austin's government operate like a real 21st-century municipality? Photo: Doc Searls / Flickr Four years after starting a website redesign process, and the home of the SXSW media, technology and ... Read More

The Europe roundup: Why mySociety folks should run a Masters in Public Technology

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, February 28 2011

UK | Why mySociety folks should run a Masters in Public Technology ... as their boss says! Tom Steinberg explains why he thinks people in his team should run a Master "which would take people with the raw skill and the ... Read More

Gov 2.0 Summit: Tom Steinberg on .gov Sites as Public Goods

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 9 2009

I'm attending the Gov 2.0 Summit today and tomorrow, and the program is thick with great speakers and topics. Posting may be in snippets. Read More

Sunlight Snags Open Source Award

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 22 2009

Clay Johnson and his team at Sunlight Labs have won the 2009 Google-O'Reilly Open Source Award at OSCON 2009 in the "Best Community Builder" category.* Not bad for a bunch of civic-minded government geeks. ... Read More

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