‘Doable City’ forum focuses on practical ways of making communities more livable


What makes communities more livable? Focusing on human needs like personal interaction, physical activity, and proximity. The Doable City Forum is happening now in Chicago, and looking to further the discussion. From the Knight Foundation.

Innovation can be a lonely task. But not this week in Chicago, where more than 150 civic innovators are gathering for the “8-80 Cities Forum: The Doable City” through Wednesday.

“Doable doesn’t mean easy. It means possible,” said urban expert Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities.

Read more: http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/2014/6/17/doable-city-forum-focuses-practical-ways-making-communities-more-livable/

Which States and Cities Have Chief Data Officers?


We’ve worked closely with the Chicago Chief Data Officer in implementing Open311 data into EveryBlock, and have worked with other CDOs around the country. GovTech has an interactive map of the state and local governments who have CDO positions. It shows the growing value of open data initiatives and the need for innovation.

In 2010, Colorado became the first state to appoint a chief data officer (CDO). A year later, New York City pioneered the position in local government.

Since then, the ranks of CDOs in state and local government have grown steadily, driven by expanding interest in predictive analytics, civic hacking and performance measurement. Research by Government Technology located more than a dozen CDOs in states and localities across the U.S. And that number seems poised to multiply as governments seek to harness the power of big data.

Read more: http://www.govtech.com/state/Which-States-and-Cities-Have-Chief-Data-Officers.html

On EveryBlock: Popular in Chicago


Hope everyone had a great week! We had a blast at GoodWorkChicago and looking forward to WordCamp Chicago today through Sunday. Here are some of the popular threads on EveryBlock this past week.

Sometimes it’s worth just saying good morning to the person you see on the street.

Please, please, please, pick up after your dog.

Lawrence Ave. streetscape: what should be done?

Last week, it was chickens, this week, roosters.

Are you ready for epic delays in and out of downtown this weekend?

Have a great weekend everyone! And don’t forget to stop by our table at University Center Chicago if you’re going to be at WordCamp!


WordCamp Chicago, June 13-15


As GoodWorkChicago winds down, starting tomorrow and through weekend is the WordCamp Chicago conference, covering everything related to WordPress and the Chicago WordPress Community. EveryBlock will be in full attendance and will have a booth in the University Center Chicago lobby, where you can learn about the site and our work with the WordPress and Open Source communities. If you’re attending the conference, please stop by to say hello!


User query: Why was my post deleted?


Some users have asked why we remove certain neighbor messages and comments, and in some cases close or delete conversations. Here’s a quick rundown.

Deleting a comment – Something in the comment violated the community guidelines, so we deleted it.

Deleting an entire thread – this can happen for a couple different reasons. The neighbor message itself might have been in violation of our community guidelines. This could be for a minor issue, like an accidental duplicate post, or something more serious like libel or offensive content. In some cases, we might ask the user to post the message again, but omit whatever might have been wrong with it. Secondly, if many comments about the message are violating the guidelines, rather than delete every one of the comments, which may make the thread confusing, we might choose to delete the entire thread.

Closing comments, but leaving the thread viewable – sometimes a thread contains valuable information for neighbors, such as info on city services, or tips on how to solve problems. In these cases, even though the thread or some comments within it may violate the guidelines, we’ll freeze it so others can see the helpful information. In both cases, closing comments or deleting a thread also helps prevent a single, out-of-hand conversation from clogging up your timelines.

Thank you for your continued feedback and use of the ‘unneighborly’ button to help us identify guideline violations. For more information on our community guidelines, click here. As always, we rely on you to help shape the EveryBlock community.


GoodWorkChicago Starts Today


Over the next three days EveryBlock will be participating in GoodWorkChicago, a forum designed to bring together and mobilize individuals, connect with each other around our communities, inspire investment of both human and financial capital in our causes, and look at innovative ways of addressing our most pressing issues. There’s going to be a lot of great discussion about public innovation, social start-ups, philanthropy and more.

Along with speakers and sessions, the final night of the forum will feature five new social ventures pitching their ideas to the crowd.  This year’s finalists are The ‘S’ Word Project, Second Chance Renovations, YogaCare, The Yellow Tractor Project, and Alumni in Business. If you want to stay up to date about the events happening during GoodWorkChicago, follow @goodworkchi or @everyblock on Twitter.


Popular In Chicago


Hope everyone’s June is off to a good start! Here are some of the happening conversations on EveryBlock this past week.

The 2014 World Cup begins next Thursday. Here are some good bars to watch the games.

Looking for assistance or volunteer opportunities in Rogers Park? Check out an EveryBlock user list of organizations.

Don’t speed in school zones: the tickets can get quite expensive. Example.

Some new Lincoln Square residents are making themselves at home.

Watch your car tires! Apparently, this is still a major issue. (Note: EveryBlock users also posted a solution.)

And to end on a cheerful note: a nice example of EveryBlock users coming together to help each other.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Improving Neighborhoods in Memphis


A new site called Create Memphis is asking residents what can be done to make their communities better. Any idea, from suggestions for new local businesses, updated parks and public amenities, converting empty office space, public works and education projects and more are welcome. The site uses Open Plans Shareabouts, which a tool to display user feedback, comments and more by location (Divvy in Chicago recently used Shareabouts to gauge residents where to build new bike stations.)

Livable Memphis and ioby, the online crowd-funding platform for neighborhood development ideas, have launched their Create Memphis initiative, an online tool for people to share and develop ideas.

Read more: http://www.highgroundnews.com/devnews/CreateMemphis.052814.aspx


Crime Over Time: Visualizing Crime Data in Chicago


Socrata and their partner Statwing have put together a report on crimes in Chicago, analyzing the times of day and year that they occur. The results are worth checking out. Some interesting gleaned tidbits:

  • Across the board, crime is low in the early morning and steadily rises throughout the day into the evening.
  • Friday is the day of the week with the most crimes committed.
  • There is a spike in crime on New Years Day and a dip in crime on Christmas.
  • Narcotics arrests are noticably lower on New Years Day, the 4th of July, and Halloween.
  • Homicides are more common in the warmer months.
  • Total number of crimes per year is declining.

Read the report here: http://www.socrata.com/blog/crime-time-visualizing-crime-data-chicago/

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