Wrapping up the 2022-2023 Civic Innovation Fellowship year, our ninth cohort 

In our previous blog post, “Civic Innovation Fellows: Mapping for Equity on OSM – Spring 2023 Project,” we introduced our initiative that used OpenStreetMap (OSM) to create more equity in the public realm by mapping public amenities. Today, we are excited to provide a review of the first complete iteration of the project. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the 2022-2023 Civic Innovation Fellows’ accomplishments, highlight the impact they have made, and discuss the exciting future prospects for the project.

What did the 2022-2023 Civic Innovation Fellows accomplish?

The fellows have dedicated 621 hours to the Mapping for Equity on OpenStreetMap (OSM), and within that time, they added or updated 2,212 features on OSM. Fellows focused on mapping three types of public spaces: green spaces, NYCHA properties, and the North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone. 

Click on the picture of the map above to open and interact with Fellows’ mapping data on Felt. This map showcases all of the additions and updates they made to OSM within Brooklyn Council District 1 and City Council District 34. Since this information is available on an open-sourced platform,  the map is more accurately representative of this area. In mapping not only the location of public amenities but also their current condition and functionality, anyone can start to understand what needs to change.

The Mapping for Equity on OSM challenged fellows to bolster their OpenStreetMap technical knowledge, expanded their understanding of community mapping, taught them how to start analyzing OSM data, and required them to communicate their impact through a final presentation. 

2022-2023 Civic Innovation Fellows’ Final Presentation

Civic Innovation Fellows’ held a final presentation on their efforts which was joined by community members, city staff, and the project’s partners: North Brooklyn Parks Alliance and Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez’s District 34 office. Fellows discussed who they are as a cohort, the workflows created for successful mapping efforts, some high-level stats, initial trends, and recommendations based on their analyses. 

During the presentation fellows also shared overview stats on what they mapped:   

  • 429 benches 
  • 573 street lights
  • 2.4 miles of paths, sidewalks, crossings
  • 71 play and youth structures
  • 29 accessible structures
  • 11 playgrounds
  • 35 in-poor-condition or damaged features

We hope with this well-rounded experience and new skillsets, they’ll move into the next professional experiences with a greater understanding of complex civic equity challenges.

What’s Next for the Fellowship and the Mapping for Equity on OSM project?

Building upon the 2022- 2023 fellows’ accomplishments, a new cohort of Civic Innovation Summer fellows will continue the mapping efforts in Brooklyn Community District 1. Their task will involve mapping the remaining public areas and assets within the district, further enhancing the comprehensiveness of the OSM database. 

Mapping for Equity on OpenStreetMap will be a centerpiece of the Civic Innovation Fellowship in the coming years. The project will be the avenue through which future fellows will learn about civics, NYC Open Data, data collection, data analysis, and more. Yet a huge piece will be community engagement. Fellows will be trained on how to hold events around teaching OSM and facilitating knowledge transfer by collaborating with local community organizers. The Mapping for Equity on OSM curriculum package will be shared and passed on, ensuring that the impact of the project extends far beyond the fellowship period.

Thank you Ahnaf Shamim, Jeaneth Lliguicota, Kyla Browne, Nicholas He, Prachi Purkaystha for being the pioneers of this project. Thank you Dimitri Mimy for being a thoughtful and intentional leader to the Civic Innovation Fellows. Thank you North Brooklyn Parks Alliance and Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez’s District 34 office. We couldn’t have launched this project without their guidance and collaboration

If you want to join us in the field, there will be a “Map with Us” event in August 2023! Check our slack or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.