Open Source City
The open source city is a combination of new technologies and processes to put municipal governance into the hands of residents.
By Ryan McGreal
Posted September 09, 2009 in Projects (Last Updated September 09, 2009)
You can follow (and participate in) this project on the Github repository.
Municipal governance is conducted mainly behind the scenes by politicians and city staffers working outside the public eye, with severely limited access to both public data and opportunities for public participation in forming and evaluating policy.
The Open Source City concept aims to change that through a combination of new technologies and processes to put municipal governance into the hands of residents.
Of particular interest are the following three domains:
Public API - A public Application Programming Interface (API) for accessing publicly available municipal data, including a platform on which citizens can collaborate on building reports and analyses.
Culture of Openness - A culture of openness, transparency, accountability and tolerance for found errors in City Hall that celebrates public oversight and views problems not as faults to be punished but as important and valuable opportunities to improve the end product.
Bottom-Up Policy Consulting - A new policy consulting process that emphasizes widespread public brainstorming, innovation and debate starting at the earliest stages of policy development, rather than forming policies in-house or by paid private consultants and only making them available at public information sessions after the major policy development phase is already complete.