Building Community for Better Cities at CityCampSF


(Cross posted from the CivicMakers blog.)

What happens when you gather local officials, city staff, entrepreneurs, designers, developers, journalists and citizens in a room for one day, and ask for their best ideas to improve their communities? You get CityCamp – a lot of excitement, a little chaos, plenty of solutions, and a whole lot of action.

CityCamp is a national movement that brings people together to build stronger communities where they live. Core to the CityCamp model is the belief that local governments and community organizations have the most direct influence to make cities more open and “user friendly.” CityCamp provides a space for that to happen through locally organized “unconferences.” At an unconference, the agenda is created by attendees and reflects the interests and expertise of those in the room.

The first CityCamp was held in Chicago in January 2010, inspired by other unconferences like Transparency Camp and Gov 2.0 Camp. Each CityCamp has four main goals:

  1. Bring together local government officials, municipal employees, experts, programmers, designers, citizens and journalists to share perspectives and insights about the cities where they live
  2. Create or maintain patterns for local government transparency and effective local governance using the Web as a platform
  3. Foster communities of practice and advocacy on the role of information and open data in cities
  4. Create outcomes that participants will act upon after the event is over

To celebrate 5 years of community building for better cities, CityCamp is being re-booted and re-energized in 2015. On January 10th, four cities – Chattanooga, Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco – will host concurrent CityCamps in city halls, public libraries, and local civic hacking organizations.

CivicMakers is honored to produce CityCampSF 2015 as part of our mission to co-create a living democracy on planet earth. We’ll be at Code for America HQ, a beautiful office space in the SoMA neighborhod of San Francisco. close to Civic Center BART. A host of local officials will start the day by answering questions about the “State of SF.” Confirmed speakers include:

And, of course, the bulk of the day will be reserved for an unconference organized by attendees, along with plenty of food and drink for breakfast, lunch, snacks and a CityCampSF closing party.

If you’re in the Bay Area, I hope you can join us at CityCampSF on Saturday, January 10th, for a day of community engagement and action for a better San Francisco! Or attend one of the other 2015 CityCamps in Chattanooga, Oakland or Sacramento to join the conversation on building communities for better cities.