RFF stands for request for feedback. Last year, Will Colegrove and I outlined a program that would help modernize NYC’s community boards and help them enter the 21st century. This framework is a the core of the New York City Civic Innovation Fellows Program.
If you have a chance, check out this paper and provide us your feed back.
To wet your whistle, here is the abstract.
New York City’s fifty nine Community Boards are an important part of local oversight of municipal service delivery. However, because each one is run by two full time employees and volunteer representatives, they struggle to engage effectively with the demands of the digital landscape. This project offers a curriculum that is designed to enhance the basic digital literacy skills of Community Board Members. For a period of six months, twelve CUNY Service Corp Fellows, selected for competency in a variety of relevant skills, will be assigned and partnered with one of twelve participating Manhattan Community Boards. It is our objective to empower these boards to develop open data best practices appropriate for the local constituencies they serve. This program, a partnership between BetaNYC, the Manhattan Borough President, and Data & Society, is supported by the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics’ goal of making “Open Data for All.”
More Bus Data, Better Bus Service: Kallos, Hackers Nudge MTA
Few things are more annoying than waiting for a bus when the weather isn’t good. You’re cold, you’re wet, and the bus schedule said it would arrive at 9:05. It’s 9:21. Where’s your bus? Technological advancements have given New York City straphangers some relief with the Real-Time Bus app, which allows users to see how far away their bus actually is. More recently, a collection of city council members used discretionary funding toward more countdown clocks for additional bus stops, an especially useful tool for those without smartphones. But what if your bus is always late? Sure, it’s good to know how long you will have to wait (and maybe have time to grab a cup of coffee nearby to warm up) – but is anyone actually doing anything about it? When Council Member Ben Kallos took office in 2014, he said slow or unreliable bus service was among his constituents’ chief complaints. Kallos’ district spans much of the Upper East Side and includes bus-heavy 1st and 2nd Avenues. The new council member began forwarding complaints to the MTA, but wasn’t finding the relief he or his constituents were looking for. Also a software developer, Council Member Kallos decided to see if the MTA provided data so he could see exactly which buses were consistently late and by how much. With that kind of solid data Kallos felt that he could then dive into the why, especially given his platform as an elected official.
Today, we launch www.citygram.nyc — subscribe to NYC #OpenData subjects & locations.
We are thrilled to announce the launch of Citygram.NYC, a notification platform that works with New York City’s Open Data. Citygram allows you to subscribe to events in Open Data sets that happen near you. You can choose to receive daily SMS updates, or a weekly email digest.
A new tool to look at NYC’s most dangerous intersections
Akil Harris has created new tool to look at NYC Crash Stats. This online map takes NYPD’s improved crash stat data and gives you easy access to the following views – City Council districts, Community Board zones, Neighborhoods – as defined by the city, Police Precincts, or Zip Codes.
Almost 20% of NYC BigApps 2014 projects were built by BetaNYC!
This is phenomenal! This year’s NYC BigApps 2014 has grown what we pioneered last year. Last year, we helped changed the focus of NYC BigApps from being a “startup” competition to a “civic challenge” competition. No longer is the challenge to build a company, but now it is to solve a civic problem.
This year, the community has responded. Tomorrow is the first big milestone and by the looks of it, BetaNYC members have submitted close to 20% of the apps!
If you are a BetaNYC member and participated in NYC BigApps 2014, please add your name to this spreadsheet.
Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite project.
BetaTalk: Meet Code for America’s fellowship team & former fellows
About the BetaTalk
Since 2010, Code for America has been asking technologist and designers “what can you do for your neighbor?”
For this BetaTalk, we will have Alexander Tran and former CfA fellows talk about the fellowship program and their experience. To learn more about the Code For America Fellowship program, learn more about the program or apply today.
Schedule for the night
7:00 – Doors open with meet and greet happy hour
7:30 – Presentations begin
– Alexander Tran, CfA Fellowship Program Manager
– Former fellows
8:45 – Closing socializing
9:30 – Event concludes