• The Civics Project

last modified May 7, 2012 by tomlowenhaupt

The Civics Project, our premier education effort, has three goals: to create Internet spaces where civic issues and opportunities can be­­ identified and addressed; to provide digital tools that empower the public in their resolution; and to educate the public about civic processes and the use of these civic tools.

  Space    Education   Tools    


Wikipedia on civics:

Within any given political tradition ... civics refers to education in the obligations and the rights of the citizens under that tradition. When these change, so often does the definition of civics. Related education in history, religion and media literacy is often included. In the United States, this is the explicit rationale for public education—to ensure the United States Constitution is upheld by citizens who must, at least, know what it is.

When applied to cities and their organization, it is often very difficult to distinguish civics from theories of urban planning ... The history of civics dates back to the earliest theories of these by Plato in ancient Greece and Confucius in ancient China.












The Civics Project takes a bottom-up view of civics: individual, neighborhood, community, borough, and city, with the Project's activities divided into three areas: civic spaces, tools, and education.

  • Civic Space - The preliminary work centers on identifying domain names suitable as civic spaces. Identifying such spaces is a one-time opportunity as these popular names might be purchased for business and other uses. They must be selected carefully for each good domain name set aside for civic purposes is removed from the pool of development resources, that is, names that might otherwise be used by business or social entrepreneurs. Some of these civic names will provide spaces where issues will be identified, discussed and addressed, for example, voter.nyc and issues.nyc. Others might be thought of as indexes to civic resources, media.nyc and civic-associations.nyc. Still others might be thought of a reusable spaces, Save-My-Tree.nyc.
    • Names for a Livable City - Beginning in 2008 we reached out to public employees, community boards, civic organizations, and the public for thoughts on civic, government and community names.
    • Civic Names  - The names of neighborhood and other civic resources that might be set-aside for the allocation of .nyc names are identified  here.
    • Voter.nyc - A civic networking project based on the voter.nyc name-set.
  • Civic Tools - The Internet offers a broad array of publishing, communication, and decision support tools that make civic involvement a more engaging, convenient, and productive experience. We will identify the most beneficial of these and make them available to residents for use in the Civic Spaces.
  • Civic Education - With its origins in a Community Board resolution, civic issues are central to our existence and will create education resources to empower our Civic Spaces and Civic Tools.

Relevant Links

  • Public Engagement - There are too many distractions in this world to expect the average person to engage in civic affairs - other than the 2% required by genetics or public position to do so. One way to draw upon the energy and capabilities of the other 98%, is to make civic affairs as much fun as a barrel of monkeys:) This site provides some thoughts about the fun in web 2.0.

    Key .nyc Pages