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Tag Archive: Open Cities

When public consultations & comments go awry

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Regular public consultation is a well-established practice for government in the U.S. at all levels. Technology has changed how governments collect feedback online and by providing a more open forum for participation to solicit feedback and integrate the public in the policymaking process. But, even when done with the best intentions, public consultations can provide mixed results.

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Ownership, evictions, and violations: an overview of housing data use cases

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Cities from coast to coast are grappling with major challenges in providing safe and adequate housing for their residents, as developers continue to build in luxury condominiums and affordable options dwindle. In the face of this struggle, civic hackers and housing advocates use open data to collaborate to develop tools to protect renters’ rights and aid communities facing displacement. My project aims to build a tool that helps hackers collect and organize housing data that is readily available. 

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An open data maturity scale for cities to find right-sized solutions

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Local governments are often ambitious when it comes to innovating around open data and civic technology -- they envision highly developed tools and open data products that will change the way communities solve problems. But sometimes open data projects fall flat because of any number of challenges: data isn’t usable, data is hard for users to find, data is presented at the wrong skill level, data is shared through the wrong forum or platform. 

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Balancing the books – how transparency can support good financial stewardship in cities big & small

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Cities are responsible for the allocation of public funds to improve infrastructure, provide key services to residents, and attract businesses and tourists. To do so effectively, governments must practice good financial stewardship of these funds to the benefit of residents. But in small cities, seemingly small oversights in the distribution of funds can have far-reaching consequences for constituents. With rising suburban poverty and increasingly sparse federal funds for rural communities, cities depend on fiscal transparency and accountability to invest in residents’ quality of life. 

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