On December 20, 2011 the Civic Commons Marketplace opened to the public. Over the past two weeks it’s grown from cataloguing 193 in 58 cities to 220 apps in 86 cities. Though still in beta, the Marketplace holds the promise of a comprehensive catalogue where anyone, anywhere can find what’s out there and figure out what’s working.
In this article, Fast Company nicely sums up the importace of the Civic Commons Marketplace:
Apps for making cities function smoother are proliferating. Now there is a place where you can find them all–from allowing citizens to adopt local fire hydrants to helping governments streamline their budget process.
Cities are starting to use technology in exciting new ways. The app SeeClickFix, for example, lets citizens report small problems like potholes to government agencies via their smartphones. But the emergence of civic software has created a new challenge: How do cities–not usually known for being fast moving or cutting edge–discover these technologies and decide which ones to implement?
“There’s very little transparency in the government technology marketplace,” says Nick Grossman, executive director of Civic Commons, a nonprofit organization that’s helping the public sector navigate the tech world. “As a result, software buying and building decisions often happen without the benefit of knowing what’s been built elsewhere, how much it costs, and how well it’s working.”