Technology and data have the potential to transform the way cities function. We believe that technology can be a force for the public good, and that institutions and sectors can collaborate and involve local residents in the design of civic tech and data solutions that address the needs of low-income people. The Civic Tech and Data Collaborative supports these collaborations with grants, coaching and knowledge-sharing.
Supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and together with Code for America and the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, we have launched cross-sector partnerships in three cities–-Boston, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.–to use data and tech to address pressing problems affecting low-income residents. Each city will be supported in this effort by a $200,000 grant and coaching from the national partner organizations.
We have also selected four cities to participate as learning partners: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, and Seattle. They will each receive $10,000 to strengthen the ties among their local civic tech and data organizations. These groups will also participate in peer learning meetings and receive some coaching from the national staff.
A key goal of the Collaborative is to demonstrate what can be achieved when these types of players work intentionally together, and to help more local leaders understand how such collaboration can be done successfully. In addition to supporting these cities in this work, Living Cities will work with our partners to capture and share what we are learning and develop tools to help local leaders across the country adopt similar approaches.
Civic Tech and Data Collaborative Cities
BOSTON: Each year, Boston’s Department of Youth Engagement and Employment (DYEE) places roughly 8,000 young people in summer jobs. The Boston CTDC believes that implementing a more efficient job matching infrastructure will increase the success rate of these placements and lead to better long-term opportunities. Boston’s collaborative is capturing and analyzing data to better understand the summer job program’s clients and how to enhance the program over time. The project is a partnership of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Code for Boston, the Boston Center for Youth and Families, the Boston Indicators Project, Boston’s Department of Innovation and Technology and faculty researchers at MIT and is locally supported by BNY Mellon.
ST. LOUIS: Rise, Open Data STL, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and St. Louis County are collaborating to implement technology solutions to help people navigate the municipal court system, including traffic ticket resolution, appearing in court and resolving warrants. Better collection and analysis of data will improve the operations of these systems. In collaboration with GlobalHack, HandsUpUnited and the University of Missouri-St. Louis School of Social Work, the partners will also collect stories about people’s interactions with the justice system in order to identify and push for additional solutions.
WASHINGTON, DC: DC’s recent growth has put significant pressure on the market for affordable housing. The DC Civic Tech and Data Collaborative aims to help policymakers and community practitioners make data-driven decisions about preserving affordable housing by monitoring existing housing stock, evaluating market conditions and subsidies, and developing creative tools and interventions to maintain affordability for DC’s low-income residents. The project is a collaboration between DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development, NeighborhoodInfo DC at the Urban Institute, Code for DC, and the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development.