How Boston is using technology to make the permit process easier


GovTech has a great article on how the newest EveryBlock city, Boston, is using technology to make its permitting process simpler and easier – including using an online tracking tool developed from the city’s hackathon last year.

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Find an Event on EveryBlock


Happy Friday! Here are some of this weekend’s various event listings found on EveryBlock, including volunteer opportunities and celebrations for the MLK Holiday.






Hope everyone has a safe and productive weekend!

Using EveryBlock to beat the cold


Neighbors in Chicago have a wealth of information to share on how to deal with the winter weather. Here are a few tips, suggestions, and recommendations.

Warming centers for those in need (including those who have homes, but no heat).

Tips on how to coldproof your home or apartment – tape up those windows!

Indoor dog parks to help furry friends get some exercise.

Suggestions on how to maintain your vehicle.

Recommendations for exterminating unwated critters.

Finally, reaching out to the EB community when in need, like jump-starting a car.

Please stay warm, stay safe and don’t hesitate to reach out to those on EveryBlock if you have any questions or need information.

Popular in Chicago: January 9th


Happy Friday! Here are some of the happening threads of the week on EveryBlock Chicago.

What do you think: License plates for bicycles.

Who sells farm-fresh eggs in Chicago?

Best places for donating linens to animal shelters

Recommendation needed: good dog walkers.

It’s cold, y’all! Stay warm.

Plans for Central Pk. and Diversey?

Have a good weekend everyone!

Good resource(s) for getting involved in your neighborhood


If you’re looking to get more involved in your community, either through engagement, outreach, event planning, or simply connecting better with your neighbors, Open Plans has a great list (via Community Matters) on many different resources to help you do so. Check it out! Topics include sharing neighborhood knowledge, reporting potholes and other municipal problems, responding to surveys and giving input in other ways, and brainstorming ideas and reaching decisions.

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EveryBlock is up in more cities!

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It’s been a whirlwind December for the EveryBlock Team as we announced our newest city members. Last week, we brought EveryBlock back to Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline, while also introducing a new addition—Medford, MA. Mayor Mike McGlynn of Medford hosted a press conference to mark the occasion. Click here for the full announcement.

And earlier this week, we re-launched EveryBlock in Houston, complete with updated neighborhood and super neighborhood boundaries as well as Houston 311 data. Mayor Annise Parker and Councilman Ed Gonzalez helped us celebrate in City Hall. Read the full press release here.

We look forward to working with all of our EveryBlock communities to help drive community awareness, promote public data, and connect people to one another. Here’s to a great 2015!

CHIdeas – the City of Chicago’s new online community forum


The city of Chicago has released a new tool, CHIdeas, to help generate new ideas to help improve the city. Currently, the city is looking for feedback on four ideas: supporting small businesses, emergency preparedness, reading, and a City Hall photo collage.

This site is an online platform to provide opportunities for government and citizens to work together by connecting civic challenges to community problem-solvers. We believe the best way to tackle challenges that affect the community is with the community. By using a platform that allows members of the community to contribute from their own homes and on their own schedules, we believe that we will be able to engage a broader audience. And with this broader audience comes a broader range of ideas, solutions and participation. So, who should participate on this site? You! We want your ideas, your feedback, your comments and your point of view. Together, we can build a better community!

Learn more at:

Popular in Chicago: December 5th


Happy Friday! Here are some of the happening posts of the week on EveryBlock Chicago.

Have some winter fun in Rogers Park.

Poll: What’s the Best Bakery in the Loop?

Best places to work in Ravenswood.

Anyone need a TV?

Enjoy Some Holiday Lights.

Help a neighbor out: How to request more trash cans?

Have a good weekend!

More Chicago Open Data


There’s a new dataset on Chicago’s open data portal – roadway construction moratoriums – streets that CANNOT have any construction on them. From the city:

Moratoriums are established by the Department of Transportation as a method of protecting reconstructed or repaved roadways within the boundaries of the city. By having access to this Moratorium list in advance, contractors or utilities with projects that require excavation of roadways can more effectively plan and review conflicts that will be encountered.

Check out the dataset here:

Lessons from Philadelphia’s open data progress


Sunlight Foundation has a piece on lessons learned from Philadelphia’s open data policy, including the demand vs. cost of public data sets. It’s worth a read –

As open data efforts mature around the country, more places with open data policies are taking the time to reflect on their progress and plan for the future.

Philadelphia, one of the first dozen cities in the country to have an open data policy, is providing an example of what this reflection and planning can look like. The city’s Open Data Team recently released a Strategic Plan and Open Data Census, highlighting lessons from the first two years of its open data program and looking at how to make improvements going forward. Philadelphia’s efforts can help provide lessons to other places looking for ways to be more transparent about the process of opening up data.

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