Photo: Billie Ward/Flickr
Neighborhoods.nyc is a new online platform where New Yorkers can communicate, organize community groups, access important information and more. A private-public partnership between the City of New York and Vizalytics Technology, Inc., the site serves as a hub for hundreds of NYC neighborhoods like Astoria and Washington Heights.
Neighborhoods.nyc is in beta version for its first 90 days as community leaders and organizations claim their neighborhood pages. In the meantime, many useful features are already available to New Yorkers through neighborhoods.nyc.
Here’s a look at some of the cool things New Yorkers can do with neighborhoods.nyc:
1. Access real-time city data
Community pages are one-stop shops for reliable, real-time city data. Through neighborhoods.nyc, users can access community-specific transit alerts, 311 service requests, construction and traffic alerts, noise complaints, emergency notifications and event permits. Users will also be able to look up schools, libraries, parks, greenmarkets and restaurant inspection results. All of this information is displayed on a neighborhood map, which is powered by Open Data NYC.
2. Follow local political issues and access legal information
The sites also feature tools for locating polling places, voter registration information and a database of public officials. Users can see relevant zoning and development decisions, and even access resources for tenant protections.
3. Freely share information
While not a specific initiative of Open Data, neighborhoods.nyc is expanding on the city’s commitment to data transparency. Individuals, local businesses and organizations are able to freely embed many site components on their own websites.
4. Claim a neighborhood domain(s)
Neighborhoods.nyc invites New Yorkers to become community partners. These page administrators license .nyc domains and commit themselves to civic engagement, online organizing and information sharing. To qualify, partners must be registered as a “not-for-profit, public benefit corporation, or local development corporation” and be located within the neighborhood they’re claiming. Within each community, the administrators can customize the design and content of their page through a variety of tools. The goal is to allow community sites to represent the interests and needs of its members. Over 400 neighborhood-specific domains are waiting to be registered.
The creation and implementation of neighborhoods.nyc has been a long-term goal of the .nyc Top-Level Domain movement. Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, who originally proposed the idea for the .nyc domain seven years ago, said it will provide an important meeting place for each neighborhood in NYC.
“When I first proposed a .nyc top-level domain in 2008, it was with the hope that we could make projects like neighborhoods.nyc possible,” he said. “With strong local institutions taking the helm of neighborhood domains, neighborhoods.nyc can create vital information hubs for the many unique local communities that make up our city.”