Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

(Update) City of Chicago posts a variety of usable information on the city website

This is the same concern I have with regard to DC--the DC Gov website is substandard, and after a redesign many reports and documents produced in the last 10 years are no longer available, people have to use FOIAs to get responses from the city, and heralded improvements like dashboards don't provide much in the way of actionable information.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports, in "City contracts dating to 1993 to be posted on Internet," that:

Information on more than 90,000 city contracts dating back to 1993 will be available and easy to download on the Internet, thanks to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest move to shine the light on City Hall.

In nearly three months in office, Emanuel has posted an unprecedented amount of information on the Internet in the name of government “transparency.”

The mayor’s office has literally released 170 “datasets” — everything from the names and salaries of city employees to information on lobbyists, crime, abandoned buildings and the list of contractors barred from doing business with the city.

Until now, contract information was available on the Internet, but it was not easy to find, search or download. You had to make a specific search on the Department of Procurement Services website or file a Freedom of Information request. Contracts were distributed by the city through e-mail or PDF.

The new system is in an “open, searchable, machine readable format” designed to dramatically reduce the time it takes to access information on city spending. Chicago would literally blaze a national trail when it comes to contract transparency, officials said.

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