A Perfect Example Of Civic Hacking

1001 Words Feb 23rd, 2016 5 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 console that replaces a traditional picnic table in public parks and other places that provides charging stations and free WiFi, broadcasts important information on a touchscreen, and monitors environmental data, including air quality, noise levels, and pedestrian traffic. These new ideas strengthen the quality of life for all citizens and make a difference in the lives of people in surrounding communities. Another example of civic hacking’s positive impact is the ClearStreets website. The website, designed by civic hackers, provides insight into their community’s streets during winter storms (“Chicago Plow Tracker”). Chicago uses a website to track the movements of their snow plows through the streets of the city. From that website,…
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