Austin

The City of Austin has a thriving tech community of civic hackers, innovators and urbanists. It also offers an open data portal and continues to work on its open government platform AustinGo. In 2013, the city created an Innovation Office as a way to encourage civic tech transparency and growth. It has an active Brigade led by Chip Rosenthal. To get in touch with the Austin Brigade email openaustin[at]googlegroups.com or visit the meetup page.

Code for Austin Visit Open Data Portal

I refer to it as the Code for America effect: When the fellows spend the time in the city, you see everyone awaken to the possibilities.

Mateo Esquibel, Web Services Supervisor, City of Austin

The 2012 Fellowship in Austin

Led by city contacts Doug Matthews and Mateo Esquibel, 2012 Austin fellows Aurelio Tinio, Emily Wright-Moore, Joe Merante were the first fellowship team to offer a regular newsletter of project updates.

It’s in these updates that their work shines through — from organizing hackathons, to engaging in nearly 100 community meetings, to building an app that was a true labor of love.

At a time when 1,300 homes in nearby Bastrop County, TX had been ravaged by wildfire, it was no surprise that the fellows decided to tackle wildfire preparedness as one of their projects. Armed with information from the Austin Fire Department’s Wildland Urban Interface and citizen polls, the fellows built Prepared.ly to pull in weather data feeds, assess red flags and offers tasks for citizen fire preparation. In addition to building the app, the team promoted it heavily via blog posts, a Huffington Post opinion editorial article and via word-of-mouth to locals. The app continues to serve the City of Austin and offers near real-time information on property risk.

As one of the most prolific teams in the Code for America fellowship, these fellows also built a virtual gallery for city hall, an app that tracks lost pets in shelters, an app that finds shelter and human services, a flood and emergency road closure map and public art mapping app.

Upon leaving the fellowship, the group was so enamored with Austin that they wrote a love letter to the city thanking their hosts for a great experience.

Articles & video

  • Code for America Meets Austin – Huffington Post

    It’s hard to believe my team has been in Austin for nearly four weeks already. As part of the 2012 Code for America Fellowship program, we’re nearing the end of our residency: five weeks of interviews, meetings, events and information gathering.

  • Technology team is developing smart solutions to everyday city problems – AustinTexas.gov

    The City of Austin has been named a finalist by Code for America, an innovative non-profit that recruits top technology talents to build cutting-edge web applications for municipal governments.