• New Civic Governance Layers

last modified January 31, 2009 by tomlowenhaupt

­­­­How will the arrival of the .nyc TLD change civic organization and local communication in New York City? Since 1975 our city's "divisioning" has had a steady official structure: 1 city, 5 boroughs, 51 council districts, and 59 community districts. What now?

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(Commons photo courtesy of ihorner.)

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Planning Questions

  • What of the extant community and neighborhood websites?
  • What form of connectivity between civic sites?
  • What's the relationship of Issue-Communities to Neighborhood.nyc sites?
  • Who will provide foundation content on the sites?
  • Will locally generated content be monetized for community gain?
  • What of the differing viability of neighborhood names, e.g, soho.nyc vs. longwood.nyc?
  • What are the business models?

 

 

 

 

  

With the .nyc initiative having evolved from Queens Community Board 3's 2001 Internet Empowerment Resolution, thinking about the TLDs role and impact on civic affairs has been a constant. Over the past few months we've begun to think of the impact the .nyc TLD  might have on this now 35 year old structure.

How will the arrival of the .nyc TLD change civic communication in New York City? Since 1975 our city’s “divisioning” has had a steady official structure: 1 city, 5 boroughs, 51 council districts, and 59 community districts. 

With Connecting.nyc Inc.’s .nyc initiative having evolved from Queens Community Board 3’s 2001 Internet Empowerment Resolution, thinking about the TLD’s role and impact on civic affairs has been a constant, and over the past few months we’ve begun to think of the impact the .nyc TLD  might have on this now 35 year old structure.

We’ve always seen neighborhood names as valuable civic resources, with these amorphous entities better able to facilitate local identify, communication, and broker the effective sharing of local responsibilities and opportunities. We recently created a Traditional Neighborhood Names page to discuss the possibilities and ways we might allocate names such as astoria.nyc, bushwick.nyc, and greenwich-village.nyc, and how we might assure their operation in the interest of the local residents.

In early November we submitted an application to the Knight Foundation outlining a new civic structure, something we called Issue-Communities. Using mapping software and social networking tools, Issue-Communities will empower city residents to create narrow communities of interest - “Issue-Communities” - reflecting their concerns. These Issue-Communities can address longstanding local communications deficits and serve as organizing machines to address local concerns and opportunities.

Recently we began seeing overlaps in these two projects - Traditional Neighborhoods and Issue-Communities - and created this wiki page to enable city residents to think through the development of new civic governance opportunities that will be enabled upon the success of Connecting.nyc Inc.'s .nyc initiative. 

Another related initiative, The Voter Proejct, and two papers Towards City-TLDs in the Public Interest and The .nyc TLD's Role in Community Development shed light on the possibilities

The hope for this page is that we can create a vision that incorporates the salient elements of these resources.

Coding Civility

Flipping between the three Sunday morning broadcast TV news shows  - Meet the Press, This Week, and the McLaughlin Group - the importance of our architecture for neighborhood.nyc domain names and Issue-Communities became apparent. Should civic communication be Gregory, Stephanopoulos, or McLaughlin? What is the level of civility we hope for in these new governance levels? How do we code civility into civic media?

Key .nyc Pages