New York City looks to an open government hackathon to redesign NYC.gov

This week, Luke Fretwell suggested that “instead of building apps, civic hackathons should focus on redesigning websites, then turning them over to gov.” Today in New York City, the first day of the Revinvent NYC.gov hackathon started work on just that. (NYC had been working on this open government event long before Fretwell’s suggestion, but the confluence is worth noting.)

Tomorrow, the world will see what prototypes the Big Apple’s civic developers have co-created today, armed with NYC government demographic information and NYC.gov Web analytics.

They’re using a combination of digital and analog tools, including blackboards, projection screens, laptops and Post-Its. You can track the progress of the hackathon over at the NYC Digital Tumblr.

The formula here seems to be: Reserve space, provide coffee, bagels, electricity and Internet access and use the power of modern social networking, publishing tools and the New York City Mayor’s to convene the community.

If New Yorkers end up with a rethought, redesigned and relaunched NYC.gov, maybe other cities will try out that formula themselves.

For more on New York’s effort to become the nation’s premier digital city, learn more about how the Big Apple is thinking about architecting a city as a platform and citizensourcing smaller government.

[Photo credit: Colin Raney]