Emily Goldman: Open Data, Civic Tech, and Planning: Examples from New York City

Emily Goldman (M.A. HPP '07, Ph.D. CRP '16) works as associate director of the Civic Innovation Fellowship, a joint program of the Manhattan Borough President's Office, the City University of New York, and BetaNYC, which helps guide New York City's growing open data and civic tech community. Goldman joined this dynamic program after finishing her Ph.D. in city and regional planning at AAP in 2016. From 2014 through the present, she has served on BetaNYC's leadership committee, which meets weekly. Goldman also has a master of arts in historic preservation planning from AAP and worked for four years for the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission prior to starting her Ph.D. Balancing her interests in preservation and civic tech, she views the city's historic buildings and neighborhoods as its most fundamental technology!


With open data portals and legislation, and civic technologies becoming increasingly common in cities across the U.S., planners now face a very complex digital terrain, with more actors and participants than ever before. This talk reviews key moments in New York City's open data movement and highlights several innovative applications of open data and civic technology that address difficult planning problems. By empowering people in harder-to-reach communities to participate more directly in how the city is run and improve their own decision-making, civic tech is proving integral to 21st-century planning. But how it is impacting what planners do and need to know?

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