NYC Digital is New York City’s push to become the leading digital city in the world. Established in 2011, it’s led by the nation’s first Chief Digital Officer in government, Rachel Haot (formerly Rachel Sterne), the founder and CEO of citizen journalism site GroundReport and a digital media consultant company, Upward Strategy. NYC Digital has five core pillars to achieve their mission outlined in their first “Road Map for the Digital City” to bring government infrastructure into the digital age: Access to Technology, Education, Open Government, Engagement, and Industry. They’ve now released their “2012 Digital Roadmap” — the executive summary of which can be found here. The document reviews the progress they’ve made.
A top priority was to reduce the digital divide in that city. To date, they’ve established free WiFi in public spaces, including 26 parks, 6 subway stations and 11 payphone kiosks. They plan to expand free connectivity to an additional 32 public parks. ABC News covered the July grand opening of the payphone kiosks:
New York City is committed to making sure the 12,000 phone booths still lining its sidewalks don’t become relics.
While the city announced plans to turn some of them into digital kiosks with SmartScreens in April, today it launched a pilot program to provide free public WiFi at public phone booths around the five boroughs.
The first ten booths were lit up today with WiFi routers that are attached the top of existing phone booths. A map of the WiFi-equipped booths can be found here. There are six booths in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, and one in Queens for the time being. Additional locations, including ones in the Bronx and Staten Island, will be added soon.
Other initiatives include the establishment of three new Applied Sciences campuses; passing landmark open data legislation which will open all of the City’s data to the public by 2018; reaching more than 5.4 million individuals each month via social media, smartphone apps and their government website; and supporting NYC’s digital sector through such means as the expansion of broadband connectivity for businesses and the launch of the interactive Made In NY Digital Map, which highlights local technology companies.
You can view the complete “2012 Digital Roadmap” here.