• Civic Space

last modified March 3, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

One of the key advantages of a public interest TLD is the ability to create digital civic spaces that set aside domain names to facilitate civic issue identification, discussion, and action. He­re we explore the development of two types of civic spaces: Domain Names and Voter Pages. Making these especially beneficial are digital civic tools that weave the spaces together and education programs that present and prepare the public on their use.

































Of the Civics Project's three elements - spaces, tools, and education - spaces requires the most insight and forethought. Recall the negative impact on cities the Internet's Domain Name System planners created when they neglected to adequately consider the needs of cities.

The .nyc TLD will be the first city TLD developed from a clean slate. While 200+ geographic TLDs have been issued through the ISO 3166 list, .nyc will be the first TLD conceived and developed with full recognition of its import to a geographic entities future. Previous TLDs were issued prior to the Internet's blossoming into THE world communication system, and were imagined incrementally, frequently with the needs of computer labs providing the guidance for the naming structure.

Domain Names

The basis for Civic Space involves setting aside domain names for public interest uses. There are several categories of public interest uses, each with "clouds" of related names that might facilitate public conversation.

Civic Names

Some civic names will be set aside for use by the city government, names such as gov.nyc and council.nyc. Explorations into names that might facilitate non-government civic improvement are underway within the realms of sustainability and media. Other civic realms need to be identified.

Reusable Names

Another type of domain name that warrants set-asides are those that might be re-usable, for example, www.SaveTheTree.nyc. While the breadth of issues that might arise probably precludes setting aside names, there is the prospect that such names might, once having served their initial purpose, be donated to a set-aside pool. Here are a few tasks that need to be addressed within the realm of such set-asides.

  • Establish criteria and processes for identifying public interest domain names.
  • Create a procedure for publish a list of domain names set-aside.
  • Create process enabling names to be donated to the civic set-aside program.

The Voter Project

One promising Civic Space "region" consists of web pages made available to registered voters. See The Voter Project.

Key .nyc Pages