Since 2011, Philadelphia has created a Mayors Office of New Urban Mechanics, released 175+ open datasets under OpenDataPhillynd hosted the 2013a href='http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Mayors-Technology-208638831.html'>US Mayors Innovation Summit. Philly is brimming with innovators both inside and outside City Hall and CfA has been pleased to partner with this city. Philadelphia has an active Code for America Brigade a group of local volunteers who meet regularly to attend events, collaborate on new projects and stand up existing apps. For details visit Code for Philly.
Philadelphia is the only city to enlist the Code for Americaa href='http://codeforamerica.org/fellows'>fellowswo years in a row. n 2012 Philadelphias City Planning Commission (CPC) was worried about low attendance at public meetings.
Citizen feedback is essential to the health of any democracy, but in-person meetings were personnel-intensive, expensive and those who attended represented a vocal minority.hey enlisted the012 CfA fellows Alex Yule, Liz Hunt and Michelle Leeo encourage new forms of public feedback.
At the time, only 59ercent of Philadelphia residents had access to broadband internet at home, while0% had access to mobile phones. The fellows designed, built and piloted Textizen for the CPC to collect feedback via SMS. In this way traditionally disenfranchised groups were able to participate in city issues and public feedback increased tenfold. To date, Textizen has received inquiries from10 cities across the United States, is currently working with 15+ cities, and has re-deployed in Boston and Salt Lake City.
The team has been so successful that they were accepted into the Code for America startups program, won the Knight News Challenge and have spun out into a full-fledged company.
That year the team also built a system to create neighborhood guidesnd a system for city employees to organize work-related topics such as booking conference rooms and signing up for city cars.
Code for Americas 2011 fellows Aaron Ogle, Matt Lewis, John Mertens, Mjumbe Poe, Michael Evans, Peter Fecteau and Tyler Stalder were tasked with customizing thea href='http://philly.changeby.us/#start'>Change By Uslatform while also conductingn-the-ground research, interviews with neighborhood groups and needs assessment amongst civic leaders. The team met both inside and outside City Hall, hosted events to generate interest in the program, and built multiple apps for Philadelphia including tools toa href='http://www.codeforamerica.org/2011/04/29/meet-muralapp/'>explore public art,a href='http://www.councilmatic.org/'>track city council meetings,a href='http://commons.codeforamerica.org/apps/citygroups'>find community groupsnda href='http://reroute.it/'>understand the impact of transportation choices.