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Community-Building for Better Cities

Community-Building for Better Cities

What happens when you gather local officials, city staff, entrepreneurs, designers, developers, journalists and citizens in a room for one day, and ask for their best ideas to improve their communities? You get CityCamp - a lot of excitement, a little chaos, plenty of solutions and a whole lot of action.

CityCamp is a national movement that brings people together to build stronger communities where they live. Core to the CityCamp model is the belief that local governments and community organizations have the most direct influence to make cities more open and “user friendly." CityCamp provides a space for that to happen through locally organized “unconferences.” At an unconference, the agenda is created by attendees and reflects the interests and expertise of those in the room.

The first CityCamp was held in Chicago in January 2010, inspired by other unconferences like Transparency Camp and Gov 2.0 Camp.

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CivicMakers Movement Spreading from Coast to Coast

This originally appeared as a guest post on TechWire.net on October 15, 2014. What’s your latest gripe about government? Maybe you can’t figure out how to make a quick online payment for that parking ticket from last weekend? Or you missed the public comment period on the massive construction project next door because it was scheduled for 2 p.m. at City Hall? Could be that you’re just tired of the endless bickering between two political parties that don’t really seem to represent the views of any real Americans. Considering the inefficiency of our government services, it’s no wonder that the hallmark of this political age is overwhelming civic cynicism. And recognizing just how broken our representative democracy is, it’s no surprise that disparities in wealth and justice in the U.S. have never been so acute. It can be depressing and overwhelming, but there is another, more hopeful trend emerging in...
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