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:
Miguel A. Gamiño Jr., CIO, City of San Francisco
Proud of my team for their work today. @cntrdigitalgov named us Best of the Web
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:
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
I just published "Enhancing How Governments Assess Awareness of Zika" https://t.co/6iC5QxxAo1-- Beth Simone Noveck (@bethnoveck) September 14, 2016
Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and ED of Code for America
About the extraordinary in public service. Not what you might think. https://t.co/flFoxyBHZZ-- Jennifer Pahlka (@pahlkadot) August 2, 2016
Jonathan Reichental, CIO, City of Palo Alto
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 'confident' digital focus will continue into next administration https://t.co/rixIxowa9b-- Aileen Gemma Smith (@aileengemma) September 13, 2016
Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer
Chris Whong, Civic Technologist, NYC Dept of City Planning
Using mapshaper.js to create SHP downloads in-memory from geoJSON. https://t.co/WVXBO27ksq-- Chris Whong (@chris_whong) September 12, 2016
Rebecca Williams, Senior Implementation Advisor, GovEx
"Who to follow:
@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.