The Idea

Create a comprehensive not-for-profit clearinghouse and forum for urban information and ideas, a self-governing online community where everyone can contribute proposals and evaluate those from neighbors, developers, advocates, and government planners alike.


The Purpose

  • Engage everyone in improving cities – and rural areas too. In particular, reach out to those whom most public outreach efforts miss.
  • Show that wide-ranging participation can actually influence on-the-ground decisions, and increase trust that local democracy can work.


The Plan

  • Establish a one-stop shop for location-specific information and ideas.
    • Make it effortlessly searchable and operationally transparent.
    • Actively solicit new ideas from the public, and make existing city plans readily accessible.
    • Search through old public planning documents for good ideas that were overlooked the first time around, and reopen them to new interest and discussion.
  • Develop a broad-based, place-based public forum.
    • Create an independent, virtual town hall, where ideas from government, business, and the public can compete for public interest and feedback in a fair and open manner.
    • Assemble and train teams of volunteer neighborhood moderators to keep comments productive and respectful.
    • Help decision makers apply public ideas to local projects, and support them in getting involved in the discussion themselves.
  • Make all data easily accessible to researchers and public officials.
    • Save everything, keep it organized, and ensure it’s free and open in perpetuity.
  • Take it on the road.
    • Work with local governments and community organizations around the world to expand the project’s reach.
    • Develop creative ways to integrate those folks without internet access into the conversation.


The Map

Ideas posted on Ciity.org may be current projects already in progress or ambitious ideas that are only a dream. They could include just about anything:

  • A stoplight out of sync?
  • A whole highway rethink?
  • A public art installation?
  • A building that needs restoration?
  • Maybe that park could use an ice rink?

See a better way of doing things on your block or in your city? Read our FAQ for more info on how Ciity.org works, then put your idea on the map!


Join the Project

Help us make street-by-street democracy work! For instance:

  • Are you a kind and tactful person?
    Volunteer a few hours a week as a community moderator. We’ll train you to help keep conversations in your neighborhood respectful and on topic.
  • Are you a web or mobile developer?
    Help us design a more efficient web app and native mobile apps. We’ll always take pro bono work, but we also hope to have funding soon – let us know if you’re interested, and we’ll keep you in mind when we do.
  • Are you a nonprofit lawyer or management wiz?
    Help us form a 501(c)3 and apply for grants.
  • Are you a public official?
    Talk to us about expanding Ciity.org in your town. We can help!
  • Are you a GIS geek?
    Help us find and integrate new awesome geospatial data onto the map.
  • Are you someone we don’t even know we need yet?

Great! Email us!


Who We Are

Linn Davis

Linn started working on an early version of the project at least as far back as 2013, and he’s responsible for most of the vision and design so far. He has a BA from Grinnell College and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University. His day job is at Healthy Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit that does fantastic pro-democracy work in its own right (but, it should be said, is in no way connected to Ciity.org). He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Emanuel Costache

Emanuel joined the project in 2016. He works on partnerships and funding, in addition to contributing to the design. He has a BA from Amherst College. He also lives in Portland.

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