October 14, 2015
Neighborhood-specific websites will help New Yorkers become more involved and informed about what’s happening in their communities
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chief Technology Officer Minerva Tantoco and the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation today launched Neighborhoods.nyc, the beta online platform for websites that will deliver neighborhood-specific information to New Yorkers on one easy-to-use site. During a 90-day beta period, every neighborhood’s page will be accessible through Neighborhoods.nyc, before the individual sites for each specific area – i.e., Astoria.nyc, CrownHeights.nyc, WashingtonHeights.nyc – begin to go live in 2016.
“Our Neighborhoods.nyc sites will connect New Yorkers to their neighborhoods in an entirely new and innovative way. Now, you can find important resources and real-time information about construction, transit, events, and more – all on one easy-to-use online hub,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It’s easier than ever for New Yorkers to engage with their communities at the touch of a button.”
The websites, created through a public-private partnership between the Mayor's Office and local technology startup and 2014 BigApps winner Vizalytics, provide community residents with a real-time data feed that shows transit alerts, 311 service requests, construction and traffic alerts, emergency notifications, event permits, and other City data – all displayed on a neighborhood map so users can see the exact location for each activity. The sites also include lookup tools for polling places, public officials, schools, libraries, parks, resources for tenant protections, greenmarkets, and restaurant grades. The neighborhoods.nyc hubs are also available in 13 languages and are available on your mobile device.
During the 90-day beta launch, neighborhood organizations and local development corporations can apply to license the domain for their local area. Qualified organizations can become administrators of their community’s site, and customize the template with additional content and tools, allowing the neighborhood sites to reflect the needs and interests of the community. Local businesses and organizations will also be able to embed components of the site onto their own websites.
Neighborhoods.nyc builds on the success of digital.nyc – the City's online one-stop shop for the tech ecosystem – which recently surpassed one million unique visits. The launch of neighborhoods.nyc coincides with the one-year anniversary of .nyc, the City’s top-level domain (TLD). .nyc is now the largest and fastest-growing city TLD in the world with more than 86,000 registered domains to date. There are currently more than two dozen industries represented in the .nyc TLD.
“The New York City Council is committed to bringing technology to New Yorkers and closing the digital divide,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Neighborhoods.nyc will help New Yorkers digitally connect with their neighborhoods and I thank the de Blasio administration for their shared efforts to create and promote innovative technological solutions that will help move our City forward.”
"Neighborhoods are the foundation of New York City – it’s where people come together, where they work, where they shop, where they call home. People need access to information so that they are empowered to make informed decisions to support smart, vibrant, and sustainable growth in their communities. Neighborhoods.nyc facilitates this process, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to launch this great platform for the benefit of all New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.
“For the first time, New Yorkers—from any neighborhood in the five boroughs—can access essential community information from dozens of sources on one site. That means fewer clicks and a simpler path to finding out what’s happening in your neighborhood or finding nearby schools, libraries and police precincts,” said Minerva Tantoco, Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York. “Even in the current beta form, the neighborhood sites are an incredibly cool resource—but with New Yorkers' participation and feedback, they have the potential to become even more valuable tools for community engagement."
“Vizalytics Technology is honored to partner with the Mayor's office of Technology and Innovation on this work for neighborhoods.nyc. We see tremendous opportunity in open government data to make a difference in the lives of NY residents and businesses. Our proprietary technology makes open data useful for everyone,” said Aileen Gemma Smith of Vizalytics.
“Neighborhoods.nyc will provide a great resource and tool for community organizations. The site will allow residents to explore real-time information on their neighborhood, including public events, infrastructure, government services, and more. This online hub will also give users the opportunity to engage with their neighbors, share information, and more. Organizations that license a neighborhood site will gain a powerful tool for promoting and facilitating civic engagement in their communities,” said Marco Carrión, Commissioner of the Community Affairs Unit.
"When I first proposed a .nyc top-level domain in 2008, it was with the hope that we could make projects like neighborhoods.nyc possible,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “With strong local institutions taking the helm of neighborhood domains, neighborhoods.nyc can create vital information hubs for the many unique local communities that make up our city."
"Open data is a tremendous resource for empowering Brooklyn, and I am pleased that the City shares my vision for bringing that resource down to the hyperlocal level. Neighborhoods.nyc is an exciting project connecting New Yorkers to real-time information impacting their block and surrounding community, and I encourage Brooklynites to visit their own neighborhood site and offer feedback on how this digital hub can best serve them going forward. I look forward to continued partnership on tapping into the full potential of neighborhood-level open data, including on our own borough portal at brooklyn-usa.org,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Each and every neighborhood, throughout The Bronx and New York City, adds their own distinct flavor to this borough and the city,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It is great to see an app that will capture those local distinct neighborhood tastes that will help, not just longtime local New Yorkers, but also recent newcomers navigate and discover what makes this city great. I want to thank the Office of Technology and Innovation for creating this innovative app that will come in handy for many people in New York City.”
"New York is a city of neighborhoods, it all comes down to your block, your community, etc.," said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Committee on Technology. "Creating local pages with neighborhood-centric content will provide a great resource for 'one-stop shopping' for news and information. I'm excited for the beta launch and can't wait for its full release."
"It's so important for a neighborhood to have its own special corner of the internet. For the community, it can be both a resource and a means of connection. For small businesses, a neighborhood site can provide direct access to residents and visitors alike. The BIDs are excited about neighborhood.nyc's opportunity for our districts and look forward to putting it to work,” said Tim Laughlin, Executive Director of the Lower East Side BID and Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District on behalf of the BID Association .NYC Working Group.
“I’m so proud to see NYC taking global leadership in ensuring that the .nyc domain is launched in a manner that ensures and preserves the integrity and community spiritedness of NYC’s neighborhoods. I suspect other cities around the world will follow NYC’s lead. NYC has always been a city of neighborhoods. Now, we’ll continue to be a city of neighborhoods as we enter the Digital Age,” said Jonathan Askin, Founder and Director of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic.