When it comes to using mobile apps for getting around in our city, a recent article published by CityLab claims that almost "all movement in a major city now begins with a phone."

Mobile apps that help us interact with cities and their services are part of a quickly expanding industry called Civic Tech, where innovation is focused on improving the ways cities deliver services and interact with citizens.

Surprisingly, many of the visionaries who are deciding the future tech of our cities share their ideas on Twitter. I've cultivated a long list - here are a few you should be following as well as some of their recommended reads:

David A. Bray, Chief Information Officer, Federal Communications Commission

Henry F DeSio, Author, Scholar, Global Chair, Framework Change

Dan Doctoroff, CEO Sidewalklabs

Jonathan Feldman, CIO, City of Asheville

"My favorite books that have helped to guide me in Asheville's digital journey have been:

- Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

- Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath

- Tribes, by Seth Godin

- Drive, by Dan Pink

Brian Forde, Director of Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab

"I really like Responsive City by Steven Goldsmith and Susan Crawford

and Beyond Transparency from Code for America.

For getting up to speed on the blockchain, I recommend:

How the blockchain will enable self-service government

What is bitcoin and the blockchain?"

Miguel A. Gamiño Jr., CIO, City of San Francisco

David Gilford, Senior Director, Client Strategy, Intersection

"Here are a few suggested readings (and podcasts) that I've personally found interesting/helpful:

Designing for Cities: Technology & the Urban Experience, Paul McConnell & Michael Clare, O'Reilly Press, 2016 (available free here. In full disclosure, Paul is a current colleague of mine!).

Connectography, Parag Khanna, Random House, 2016 (excerpt here) Khanna's thesis is that connectivity - not just about information flows, but also that of goods, people and culture - now reveals more than geography about how cities, economies and societies function.The maps are available free and help show the many dimensions of connectivity shaping urban environments.

Monocle's The Urbanist - a weekly podcast with the modest aim of being a "guide to making better cities, be it new technology, state-of-the-art subways or compact apartments."

99% Invisible - podcast on "the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world," often featuring urban topics from infrastructure to the role of feng shui in Hong Kong's skyscrapers.

Mark Headd, Open Data Evangelist, Civic Innovations


Smart citizens, smarter state - Beth Simone-Noveck

Democracy Reinvented - Hollie Russon Gilman

Rules for Radicals - Saul Alinsky

Blogs / news, etc:


Sunlight Foundation blog

Govtech News

Jason Hibbets, Project and Community Manager, Red Hat

The Engaged Leader by Charlene Li

"Great insight and practical advice on how to use social media to engage

employees, customers, and expand your listening network."

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

"Changed my perspective on feedback loops and introduced me to the

concept of MVP - Minimum viable product. For me, with an lens of open

source, I saw practical ways of things that I knew and was able to

adjust them to change my working habits for better efficiency."

The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim

"Is a great story about CI/CD and was just eye opening to me in learning

more about DevOps and the mashup of delivering software in an efficient


Citizenville by Gavin Newsom

"A fun read about the power and struggles of open government and open data."

Jeanne Holm, CIO, City of Los Angeles

Alex Howard, Senior Analyst, Sunlight Foundation

Waldo Jaquith, 18F

"Twitter is how I keep up with the civic and gov tech spaces, and those are some of the people who I rely on to do so: @SunFoundation, @digiphile, @laurenancona, @TKleykamp, @sglassmeyer, @elle_mccann, and @vdavez."

Beth Simone Noveck, Founder and Director, The Governance Lab

Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and ED of Code for America

Jonathan Reichental, CIO, City of Palo Alto

Recommended Reads:

Smart Cities - Anthony Townsend

Citizenville - Gavin Newsom

The Inevitable - Kevin Kelly

Rise of the Robots - Martin Ford

Alan W. Silberberg, CEO, Digijaks

Aileen Gemma Smith, Founder and CEO, Vizalytics

Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer

Chris Whong, Civic Technologist, NYC Dept of City Planning

Rebecca Williams, Senior Implementation Advisor, GovEx

"Who to follow:

@justgrimes - Justin come from the library science community, runs Code for DC, and works at the White House on technology policy. He posts excellent academic papers.

@vdavez - Dave is one of the most prolific legal hackers out and works on radically modernizing technology contracting with 18F.

@lifewinning - Ingrid lives and breathes art, tech, and infrastructure unabashedly. When she live tweets conferences it is the greatest thing.

@libbycwatson - Libby is a reporter at the Sunlight Foundation writing stories with open campaign finance data. Additionally she is one of the funniest people on the internet.

@georgiamoon - Georgia is the director of technology projects at the Open Technology Institute. She lives between technology, urban planning, and user centered design and has even taught a course on Civic Hacking.

What to read:

Open Government Data by Josh Tauberer - New readings on open data comes out all the time, but you'll find it's all been said before and better in this comprehensive resource by the creator of https://govtrack.us

The New Ambiguity of 'Open Government' by David Robinson and Harlan Yu - Folks forget open data is historically informed by open government and good government organizations, this must read paper explores how these efforts have been watered down.

Digital Government: overcoming the systemic failure of transformation by Paul Waller and Vishanth Weerakkody - Folks reduce civic tech to transactions like ordering a pizza, but government is much more complicated than that. This paper explores the complexity and consequence of e-government.

Civic Wants, Civic Needs, Civic Tech by Emily Shaw - This piece explores which civic tech should be prioritized and why.

What Are Civic Apps For? by Forest Gregg - Discusses a ends/means framework of civic technology.