Civic tech in New York City

New York City hosts a thriving civic tech community. The tech sector itself has become a major force in New York City, already home to finance, real estate, and media industries. As a result, the city has birthed a disproportionate number of civic startups. Civic tech in New York takes place inside and in partnership with the massive city government, as well as with activists outside of government. New York also offers strong universities and public institutions across its 5 boroughs and metropolitan area.

Key links:

  1. NYC Open Data
  2. NYC Mayor's Office of the Chief Technology Officer
  3. BetaNYC, New York's civic hacking brigade
  4. Digital Tools for Responsive Government: A Columbia World Prjects Report for the NYC Civic Engagement Commission

City of Memory

City of Memory is a participatory, dynamic story map of New York City curated by the cultural heritage institution, City Lore.

NYC Public Engagement Unit

The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU) proactively connects New Yorkers to key City services, like housing and healthcare.

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The New York City Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer

The mission of the NYC Mayor's Office of the CTO is to ensure that technology is inclusive, accessible, human-centered, and works for all New Yorkers.

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Mesa by Sidewalk Labs

An easy-install kit to help commercial buildings cut energy costs.

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A knowledge base website that collects public health information on the novel coronavirus from WHO, CDC, NYS, and NYC.

Accelerator Labs

The labs will also harness the potential of real time data and people’s energy to respond to rapidly evolving challenges that impact development.

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Ford Foundation Tech Fellow

The Ford Foundation did something unique—it hired technologists and embedded them in its grant-making teams. It was part of a foundation-wide effort to better understand the growing influence of data and technology on social justice issues.

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Conversations with Bina

A quest for friendship with a humanoid robot turned into a rabbit-hole of questions and an examination of the codification of social, cultural and future histories at the intersection of technology, race, gender and social equity.

Data for Health

The lack of data disproportionately affects low- and middle-income countries with 60 percent of these countries not reporting any data, covering 2 billion people.

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A misinformation fighting extension for Facebook News Feed

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Empowers users to discover issues and trends within their district’s boundaries.

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Displacement Alert

The Displacement Alert Project uses data and information visualization tools to proactively identify buildings that are facing a high risk of displacement. With this information, community organizations, decision markers, and local residents can push back with outreach, education, organizing strategies, and policy change.

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Candid gets you the information you need to do good.

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The Open Newsroom

THE CITY’s year-long project with Brooklyn Public Library to explore how to make local news more collaborative

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Hack League

Hack League is a friendly academic competition that invites all NYC middle and high school students to learn, design, and build projects to help their community.

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Checkbook NYC

An online transparency tool that for the first time placed the City’s day-to-day spending in the public domain

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Composites Collective

Using deliberative democracy models to inform city decision making and to connect organizations and districts around NYC’s

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NYC CTO tech glossary

The technology industry is built on new and emerging concepts, meaning terms continually appear, change, and phase out. Those that do stick around can be technical and hard to understand. This glossary is our attempt to clarify some terms that are currently fundamental to our work and often confusing to the public (and occasionally to us).

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NYC Public Data Directory

The commission shall publish annually a directory of the computerized information produced or maintained by city agencies which is required by law to be publicly accessible.

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Where innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology for the urban environment come to thrive.

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BetaNYC Slam

SLA Mapper (SLAM) is a tool that aggregates data that community boards often have to gather in order to review liquor license applications and sidewalk cafe applications. Displaying this information in a unified view saves community boards considerable time and resources.

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Tenants Map

TenantsMap shows residential buildings with rent-regulated units throughout Manhattan and their volume of housing safety-related 311 service requests, which is updated daily.

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Subway Deserts Map

This map shows the combined areas forming a 10-minute "walkshed" around NYC's 470 subway stations.

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The Org

Discover the people behind the world’s most innovative companies

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Bloomberg Philanthropies’ U.S. Mayors Challenge

It is a competition designed to help city leaders think big, be bold and uncover inventive – and, ultimately shareable – ideas that tackle today’s toughest problems.

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The Movement Cooperative

By leveraging the collective bargaining power of our members, The Movement Cooperative provides best-in-class data and technology resources that match the needs of progressive organizations at the cheapest possible price point.

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NYC Open Data Week

It is an opportunity to engage New Yorkers in the information that is produced and used by City government.

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New Media Mentors

We train nonprofits to expand their reach and influence so they can have maximum impact and achieve their goals.

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NY Times R&D team

How emerging technologies are applied to journalism

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Main Street One

Main Street One, a fake-news and misinformation fighting technology that tracks narratives as they emerge and provides campaigns and causes with a distributed creative army to respond with force, helps progressive candidates and causes win the information war online.

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Decolonize This Place

Decolonize This Place is an action-oriented movement centering around Indigenous struggle, Black liberation, free Palestine, global wage workers and de-gentrification.

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Blue Feed, Red Feed

See Liberal Facebook and Conservative Facebook, Side by Side

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MEMRIA uses the power of voice to help our partners further their missions.

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Curated by Civic Hall

Built on the idea that together – technologists, government officials, community organizers, researchers, makers, social entrepreneurs, change-makers, hackers, academics, journalists, artists– we can organize to solve civic problems to scale.

We are a community of action-oriented, cross-sector professionals located in the heart of Manhattan, where we aim to better the world through civic tech.

Curators are not responsible for all of the entries in their categories.

Would you like to become a curator of the Civic Tech Field Guide? Drop us a quick note.

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