Work on Community Board Tools this weekend

illustration-dataThis weekend, betaNYC is hosting #CodeAcrossNYC 2014, a two-day “prototype-athon” creating tools for New York City Council, their staff, and Community Boards.

One of the projects lined up for the weekend originated at OpenPlans. The Community Board Tools website is a listing of existing tools and suggestions for new ones, to solve common challenges of NYC’s Community Boards. We produced a first version of the website following a series of conversations with board staff and members during the summer of 2012.

This weekend, the content will get a much-needed update and expansion, under new leadership from betaNYC. We’re excited to see the site become an even more useful resource for community engagement. Check it out at, and come to #CodeAcross to make it better.


Watch the myPhillyRising app in action

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology has released a great video showing how the myPhillyRising app works. An open source project started with OpenPlans, and launched for public use last fall, the myPhillyRising app connects Philadelphia residents to events, resources, and neighbors in their communities. The video is part of the city Read more…

TransportationCamp Chat with Nick Grossman

“This idea that we could enable an environment of creativity and experimentation and innovation on an unprecedented scale because whatever experiments people do there’ll be data that comes out of it that we can use to hold those experiments accountable. Switch the regulatory model from what we’ve been calling the 1.0 model–where you have to decide something up front, whether it’s a good or a bad idea, but you don’t really have any data or have a small amount of data–to a 2.0 model, where we don’t need to make as many determinations up front. We’ll have tons and tons of data coming out afterwards. That’s a really different model.”

TransportationCamp Chat with Dr. Kari Watkins

“What does the ideal app look like? Because when you have a really good underlying system, if you have good information, it actually is easier to get around on transit. More recently, since moving to Atlanta, the transportation system here, the transit system here, there’s really not great headway. There’s not a lot of routes. It’s more of a rail-based system. If you’re not close to one of the rail stations, it doesn’t function as well as some other cities.”

TransportationCamp Chat with Shin-pei Tsay

TransportationCamp Chat with Shin-pei Tsay

“We’re interested in what are the high-impact, low-cost ways of shifting the ways people think about government and governance of transportation. How riders interact with their transit systems and help plan them. We’re talking about sharing modes, and the different ways people are doing that. How can organizations and places learn from each other.” Philly covers myPhillyRising

[Philadelphia’s] three-year-old cross-departmental effort PhillyRising program works inside 15 high-crime neighborhoods in hopes of empowering and organizing communities, but director John Farrell said the most common refrain he hears is, “I didn’t know about this,” whether it’s about a community meeting or a neighborhood computer lab or an afterschool program. That’s why the city launched myPhillyRising, a Read more…

OpenPlans on WHYY

Philadelphia’s WHYY covers the Plan In A Box announcement —  The nonprofit OpenPlans has done a lot of work for big cities, helping the New Yorks and Chicagos of the world craft techy ways to stoke citizen input and foster transparency around public projects. It’s the stuff around which the open gov movement is made. But the problem is, many Read more…