This article was adapted from our latest book, “Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons.” Download your free pdf copy today.

In 2010, Boston’s Mayor Menino formed the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM). MONUM is the city’s civic innovation group. The purpose of MONUM is to engage residents, employees, communities, and institutions in the process of improving the quality of city services using technology. Through the group’s current focal areas of economy, education, engagement, and streetscape, MONUM tests and scales new civic technologies. Innovations include open reporting through Citizens Connect, automated road quality reporting through Street Bump, and school-finding portal DiscoverBPS to name a few. Alongside MONUM, The Boston Urban Mechanics Program (BUMP) gives interns a chance to learn the challenges of improving city services first hand. These programs inspired many cities, including San Francisco and Philadelphia, to start similar programs.

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 Activating the Urban Commons

Header image by Craig Dietrich via flickr