A Perfect Example Of Civic Hacking

1001 Words5 Pages
A perfect example of civic hacking reveals itself in the NYC BigApps contest. NYC BigApps, sponsored by the New York City Economic Development Commission, is designed to foster civic hackers’ ideas to solve specific problems each year (“BigApps NYC 2015”). For example, this year’s challenges were called “Affordable Housing,” “Zero Waste,” “Connected Cities,” and “Civic Engagement.” Developers were challenged with the opportunity to program apps suited to help solve issues in New York City related to those broad categories. Winners included an web application called JustFix.nyc, which allowed tenants in New York apartments to connect and get issues in their building fixed much faster and more reliably. Another winner, CityCharge, is a…show more content…
The site offers animations of the routes that have already been cleared and offers up-to-date maps. The website is available to the public and provides ready access to a better way to navigate in hazardous winter weather; it simply allows users to avoid streets that are unplowed and lets them examine possible alternate routes. Without the efforts of civic hackers, citizens could be left stranded on unplowed city streets. A third positive example of hacking is hacktivism. Though hacktivists have a more subtle positive effect, they consistently bring controversial decisions and topics to light. Hacktivists are hackers that use their talent to be activists that support a certain cause. Most are politically motivated and believe that a person or organization has committed a wrongdoing. Their strong beliefs drive them to commit hacks that seek revenge and wreak havoc upon daily lives; numerous amounts of these attacks are on government agencies. This fact alone makes many people dislike the act. However, despite being malicious in nature, it is not malicious to individual citizens and often stimulates positive discussion and much-needed change. Hacktivism can be used to further popular ideas and make the public voice heard; it is a great way to broadcast ideas that would otherwise be obscure and ensure that a level of justice is promoted among peers.
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