New Urban Mechanics: Apps in the pipeline

Citizen Connect is one of the projects in a larger effort to work with civic entrepreneurs and explore new technologies to address urban issues.  

“The Office of New Urban Mechanics is the city of Boston’s civic innovation R&D group,” said Nigel Jacob, co-chairman of the office. “We’ve been running formally for about a year and a half. Our charge is to deliver innovative services to the residents of Boston. We partner with local area entrepreneurs and civic innovators to develop products like Citizens Connect.” 

Related coverage:

Boston mobile app shrinks the distance between city and citizen

Several other projects are under way as well. Other projects include:

  • City Worker – A smart-phone application that will allow workers to easily manage their daily work lists and access and record information about the condition of city infrastructure such as street lights, trees and roads. A pilot project launched with arborists in March 2011.
  • Complete Streets – A project designed to improve the flow of people and goods through Boston by making the city’s transportation infrastructure greener, smarter and multimodal.
  • Voters – A sensor system for vehicles that could provide real-time reporting of conditions such as sub-service road deterioration, or the presence of particular pollens or stray voltage.
  • Street Bump – An application being developed for smart phones that will provide real-time information about the conditions of city streets.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


  • Russia prying into state, local networks

    A Russian state-sponsored advanced persistent threat actor targeting state, local, territorial and tribal government networks exfiltrated data from at least two victims.

  • Marines on patrol (US Marines)

    Using AVs to tell friend from foe

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for ways autonomous vehicles can make it easier for commanders to detect and track threats among civilians in complex urban environments without escalating tensions.

Stay Connected