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January 2019 Newsletter

Smart Cville promotes the use of technology and data to help communities find innovative solutions by facilitating the exchange of ideas between civic institutions and citizens.

In this issue:

  • Meet Our New Program Coordinator
  • Top 3 Blogposts of 2018
  • 2018 Highlights: More Budget Visualization Partners!
  • 2018 Highlights: 2nd Annual Civic Innovation Day

Meet Our New Program Coordinator

We're thrilled to announce the addition of Alpha Diallo to the Smart Cville team. Alpha joins us as a part time program coordinator. Alpha is from Guinea, West Africa. Although he has spent the majority of his life in the Virginia, Alpha's passion in community innovation and development stem from his experiences living in Guinea. Since obtaining his Masters degree in Urban Planning from the University of Virginia, Alpha has had a keen interest in the intersection of data science and public good. He is a full-time data analyst with Magellan Health. In his free time, Alpha is a volunteer instructor with WeCodeToo, a Charlottesville nonprofit dedicated to helping young black and brown children break into the technology industry with coding and programming.

To learn more about this hire, please see our blog. Want to introduce yourself? Find him at

Top 3 Blogposts of 2018

Three posts really stood out this year in terms of visitors and interest.

Make MyCville App Data Open - Lucas Ames
"The purpose of this post is to focus on the importance of making as much of this data open as possible. It’s clear that nearly all of the data submitted into the 311 is public data and subject to FOIA. However, past legal definitions, let’s discuss the spirit of this data. First and foremost is the fact that this is crowdsourced data – meaning it is created by and comes directly from citizens. It only makes sense that this data is then shared back, in aggregate, to the community via the Open Data Portal."
Microsoft Meets Charlottesville Open Data – Building Footprints - Doug Caldwell
"Has the problem of mapping building footprints been solved? To understand what Microsoft’s effort means for Charlottesville, it is possible to compare the Microsoft results with Charlottesville Open Data’s Existing Structure Layer."

Revitalizing Democracy: Is it Time to Rethink Local Boards and Commissions? - Carah Ong Whaley and Lucas Ames
"From our political officials and institutions, we need more transparency and accountability, which can be accomplished, at least in part, by greater openness, meeting citizens “where they are,” and leveraging technology to engage the public in decision-making processes. But, just as important, we need more informed and regular participation from our citizens. Local boards and commissions are a vital means through which citizens have the opportunity to be co-producers for a more transparent, accountable, inclusive and equitable democracy."
Warrenton Budget Visualization

2018 Highlights: More Budget Visualization Partners!

In 2018, we were thrilled to welcome Warrenton and Lexington into our budget visualization program. We now serve four communities with a platform that costs a fraction of private sector alternatives. Our open budget includes exportable CSV files and JSON feeds.

In addition, we launched a new "Budget Process" feature for municipalities to share the budget timeline with their community. This helps clarify what has traditionally been a complex and elongated process to citizens. The timeline also helps underscore citizen engagement opportunities at each step of the process.

Want to bring the budget visualization to your city in 2019? Let us know!
2018 CID Logo

2018 Highlights: 2nd Annual Civic Innovation Day

Our second annual Civic Innovation Day was a huge success. We'll be at it again this June for the third annual event. Interested in helping plan the day? Let us know! For now, take a look at some of the key details from the event.

Facts and Figures from 2018:
  • 25% increase in participants
  • Participant age range 18-60
  • Gender ratio - 60% female
  • 3 public entity challenge partners
  • Bigger event space - moving from WillowTree to Cityspace
Civic Innovation Day poses new challenges for local technologists, urbanists

Challenge Topics
Regional Transit Planning Challenge
CFD Fire Risk Challenge
Rio+29 Placemaking Challenge

Fixed Route Passenger App - JAUNT Ridefinder
CFD Fire Data Risk

Presenting Sponsors
Smart Cville, WillowTree, Inc

Contributing Sponsors
Ting, Crutchfield, City of Charlottesville

How You Can Help...

  • Donate to our non-profit or sponsor an event.
  • Email us to set-up a coffee/chat!
  • Share our newsletter with someone who may be interested.
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