The secrets to urbanism and open data–CityCamp NC 2017 keynote

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CityCamp NC is excited to announce the 2017 keynote speaker – Stephen Larrick, Open Cities Director for the Sunlight Foundation. While at the Code for Durham Civic Spark Day, we were delighted to bump into Noel Isama and made the pitch that we were interested in finding a speaker to talk about the intersection of open data and economic development. We were then introduced to Stephen Larrick.

In preparing for this years events, I had an opportunity to talk with Stephen about our event and our expectations. While those of you who know me won’t be surprised, but I totally geeked-out with Stephen as he started sharing some examples from Albuquerque, NM and New York, NY and how they are connecting open data to economic development dollars. This is EXACTLY what the North Carolina brigades and CityCamp NC participants need to hear. Open data has value beyond transparency. It can impact the “other” developers, you know, the ones who don’t code. The ones that make buildings, declare open space, and connect our communities.

We are at a point in our open data evolution where we understand the need for open data, understand the desire for open data, but often fail to make the financial connection to open data and how it can help urbanize our cities. If you want to explore this idea, then CityCamp NC is the place to learn more.  Here are the details about our 2017 keynote presentation.

Participatory urbanism: from built environment to open data

City making is collaborative because the city itself is a fundamentally collaborative endeavor. This is as true for our emerging conception of the digital city as it is for the built urban environment. However, our current approaches to civic tech and open data in the American city have much to learn from advances in participatory urbanism. In this talk, Sunlight Foundation Open Cities Director Stephen Larrick, a city planner and urbanist turned open government advocate, draws parallels between the history of top-down “solutionism” in both physical and digital city-making, arguing that advances in participatory practice from the field of urban planning suggest promising new participatory approaches to open data in city hall.

More about Stephen

Stephen Larrick is the Open Cities Director for the Sunlight Foundation, where he leads Sunlight’s efforts to bring about more transparent, accountable, and participatory urban communities across the United States. His current efforts focus on facilitating the adoption and implementation of meaningful, sustainable open data policies in dozens of American cities participating in the What Works Cities initiative, with a specific focus on helping to connect city open data efforts to resident empowerment and community impact. Prior to joining Sunlight, Larrick was Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Central Falls, Rhode Island, where he helped lead a successful turnaround effort during a time of extreme fiscal crisis. In addition to his duties as city planner, Larrick worked closely with two state-appointed receivers and one mayor to rethink local government service delivery with a heavy emphasis on open and inclusive governance. Larrick received his Bachelor’s of Arts in Urban Studies and Political Philosophy from Brown University.

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