New Civic Governance Layers

New Civic Governance Layers

How will the arrival of the .nyc TLD change civic communication and the governance structure in New York City? Since 1975 our official “divisioning” has been steady: 1 city, 5 boroughs, 51 council districts, and 59 community districts. To date, the Net has not had an impact. Will it? If so, how and when?

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 city-by-numbers.0.JPGhas been a constant. Over the past few months, as the probability of the TLDs arrival has grown larger, we’ve begun to focus on the .nyc TLD’s impact on this now 35 year old structure.

Neighborhood domain names have always been seen as valuable civic resources, enabling those amorphous entities to better provide 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 local residents.

In early November we submitted an application to the Knight Foundation outlining an entirely 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 force to focus local concerns.

Recently we began seeing overlaps and parallels in the Traditional Neighborhoods and Issue-Communities projects, and today created a wiki page for thinking through the development of such New Civic Governance Layers. See the blog post announcing the New Civic Governance Layers wiki page's creation - http://www.coactivate.org/projects/campaign-for.nyc/blog/2009/01/24/new-..., and let us know what you think.

New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) in preparation for the acquisition of the .nyc TLD (like .com and .org but just for New York City). Connecting.nyc Inc. applauds this outreach effort and requests that all members of Connecting.nyc’s community to help assemble a comprehensive body of information to assist the city with this important policy development effort.

Over the next weeks we will gather and organize information that might aide the city’s decision making process. (Due date May 27th.) With our public interest perspective, decade-long involvement with .nyc, and the collaboration of our community, we expect that our submission will assist the city in better understanding the multitude of ways .nyc can help create a more prosperous and livable city.

We will augment our RFI submission by creating a Workspace linking to the abundance of information on our wiki and invite our community to help create an imaginative and innovative assemblage of ideas for the city’s consideration. We are particularly interested in ways the TLD might enable and facilitate civic, social, and business networking.

Going forward, we expect DoITT to review the various RFI submissions and, in collaboration with city agencies, business & civic organizations, and residents, to develop a road map leading to .nyc’s acquisition, development, operation, and oversight.

See our wiki post for details.