Digital Cities: The City Upon a Hill

Boston, Massachusetts

New Urban Mechanics Pitch: build the product, take the blame if it fails, and give away all the accolades if it wins.

Build a Groundswell of Innovation

  1. Reposition civic technology from a labor-saving mechanism to an opportunity to interact with citizens ubiquitously throughout the day
  2. Establish an understanding that technology wasn’t a substitute for offline communication and collaboration
  3. Prioritize product design and seek out multiple partnerships with local talent to crowdsource development

Lesson 1: Make Civic Awareness Fun for the Citizen

  • Report Issues — potholes, cracked sidewalks, excessive garbage, etc.
  • Get Information — recycling pickup, nearest city office, etc.
BOS:311 Map Feature — the representation of pins on the map invites users to interact, while keeping them geographically aware of the content they are viewing.

Lesson 2: Brand Your City, Brand Your Products

  • Humanize digital interaction with the city
  • Reach people where and when they are
No matter where you interact with the City of Boston the design, experience, and functionality will be consistent across devices and access points.

Lead and Be Led, Citizen-First Design

…Boston leads in innovation by following the needs of their citizens…

Further Reading

Boston Digital Thinking




digital citizen

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Brian Rollison

Brian Rollison

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