City of the Year

Chicago

Chicago’s commitment to being an open, innovative and collaborative city reached unprecedented new heights in 2013. This year, the City launched the Chicago Data Dictionary, a first-of-its-kind, open-source public archive of all the city’s databases. Chicago’s data portal also expanded to nearly 1000 dataset variations, and included milestones such as energy data by census block and urban farm and food desert data.

These efforts have also helped fuel the growth of Chicago’s civic innovation sector, which saw a new startup every 24 hours. Chicago civic hackers have developed scores of new apps this year, including ones for Divvy, the city’s popular new bike-share program. Next year, Divvy’s new station locations will be based on crowdsourced public suggestions.

2013 has also been a watershed year for data analytics and prediction initiatives. Chicago won a Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge grant to help build the SmartData Predictive Analytics Platform, which will help municipal leaders make smarter, faster decisions in real-time, which will help municipal leaders make smarter, faster decisions in real-time to help address and prevent problems before they develop.

Collaboration is central to all of these initiatives: they’re open-source, and will be available for other cities and organizations to replicate. Many city APIs are already available on Chicago’s Github page as well—which included, among others this year, an RSocrata package for using R with the city’s data portal.

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