New York City Launches New Digital Playbook


The city of New York has launched a new Digital Playbook, outlining the city’s digital strategy goals. “The New York City Digital Playbook outlines how we want residents to experience City services and how we will use digital tools to strengthen communities, online and off,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote in an op-ed announcing the launch.

The playbook is meant to provide guidance to all city agencies about how to make more information about city services available online. The Mayor says those guidelines will be immediately implemented across city government and the playbook also includes an ideas component where the public can vote on additions to the strategy.

Mayor de Blasio announced the playbook at a gathering today at Civic Hall. His presentation included a so-called strategy deck and the announcement also garnered the support of local civic developers BetaNYC. But, beyond headlines about “inclusion” and “transparency,” it’s unclear what the playbook will actually lead to in practice.

The playbook comes with a PDF that includes guiding principles, but still no real plan for anything. In his op-ed, the Mayor pointed to the recent creation of Pre-K Finder, an online resource for parents of Pre-K children, as an example of the types of projects his administration would like to do to improve city services. Yet, neither the op-ed nor the presentation included any tangible plans for future applications or services.

An Observer piece that also noted the lack of detail included tweets from New York City Chief Digital Officer Jessica Singleton, which seem to suggest that vagueness intentional and that the guidebook is merely a conversation starter. Notably, however, the Mayor didn’t take any questions at the event.  We reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment but have not received any further information at the time of this writing.

Watch this space.