Boston, St. Louis Receive Grants to Harness Data and Technology

The $200,000 grant will help the cities use a combination of civic tech and data to improve the lives of low-income residents.

by / June 10, 2015

Boston and St. Louis have each been chosen to receive a $200,000 grant to promote the combined use of civic tech and data to improve the lives of low-income residents, Code for America, the National Neighborhood Inidicator Partnership and Living Cities announced June 10.

This grant is given as part of the Civic Tech and Data Collaborative, under which each city will bring together public officials, technologists and data practitioners over the next two years to achieve their goal.

As a city that welcomes thousands of young people annually, Boston aims to implement better technology to connect more of the newer generation to summer jobs, as well bring in new businesses. Its collaborative includes the city's Department of Innovation and Technology, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Code for Boston and the Boston Indicators Project.

St. Louis plans to take its data in a different direction. With a goal of strengthening the public's relationship with regional government, four entities — nonprofit organization Rise, Open Data STL and both the city and county of St. Louis — will join forces to help residents better navigate the local criminal justice system.
Combining these two endeavors, partner organizations hope more local leaders across the country will follow a similar path and embrace civic technology.

"When it comes to addressing poverty in America's cities, our pace of change is too slow and the scale too small," said Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities, in a statement. "We want to prove that the disruptive power of data and technology can be harnessed to achieve dramatically better results in the lives of low-income people, faster."