New York City releases digital strategy


The New York City Council has released a new digital roadmap it is calling “Council 2.0.” The plan is a roadmap for introducing civic technology initiatives within city government and modernizing systems. The plan is a result of new rules reform passed in May of last year, and reflects a renewed interest in open government on the part of the city council.

Council 2.0 was developed by an internal Working Group on Public Technology and Civic Engagement in consultation with a range of experts in building open digital platforms and tools for civic engagement. The working group will continue to meet regularly to evaluate progress around the outlined objectives. Staff will also study web and social media analytics to help study the type and substance of digital interaction.

The plan already includes a call for the creation of a public technology team within the city council to drive tech initiatives, as well as a partnership with Civic Hall, a local hub for the tech community in New York City. “Council Labs” an experimental mobile friendly website is also on deck for fall of this year.

In addition, the city plans a range of updated and expanded data sources including a more accessible legislative database and API. The city council website is also getting a facelift.

Beyond slick new interfaces and data initiatives, the council is also looking at creating council-wide standards for sharing materials and gathering feedback for proposals and initiatives via established digital channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. If managed well, Council 2.0 could serve as a model for other cities considering multi-faceted civic engagement plans that are heavily reliant on technology and social media.

The plan was announced at a press conference held in New York City today.