Philadelphia, May 16, 2013 – The City of Philadelphia, in conjunction with PublicStuff, is hosting a public contest to build the next feature of the Philly311 Mobile App. The app provides the ability to add new features—known as widgets—to the main menu, delivering new functionality to more than 13,000 users instantaneously. Through this contest, Philadelphia residents and technologists can pitch their idea for a new widget and partner in building it. The winning contest submission will be officially added to the Philly311 Mobile App, citywide with the author credited.


“Asking citizens to build and submit widgets allows the City to know what citizens want through mobile access and to tap into the tech-savy talent here. I am excited to see what idea wins,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.


“Since the beginning, one of the goals of the Philly 311 mobile app has been to use it as a platform for community engagement,” said Deputy Mayor & Managing Director Rich Negrin. “Allowing people to contribute their ideas and their energy to enhancing the 311 mobile app is true to our original vision for this transformative tool.”


Participants are invited to join 311 Director Rosetta Lue and Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid for the Widget Contest’s “Hack Night,” an event where teams can form and start building their ideas. Not a programmer? No problem – bringing ideas is just as important.


The Hack Night will take place on Tuesday, 5/21, 6pm at Devnuts, 908A N 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123.


“This Philly311 app widget contest is a way to engage the tech community to get involved and to help enhance our existing app.  The tech community in Philadelphia is very innovative and creative.  I’m very excited since this contest is a win-win for both the residents and the City.” said Rosetta Carrington Lue, 311 Contact Center Director.
“Cities are the labs of innovation,” said Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid. “Embracing this requires us to try new things and to experiment with our broader technology community, which is filled with creative, civic-minded people. This contest is yet another means to leverage the creativity of the Philadelphia tech community to improve the way we provide services.”
Submissions will be accepted until Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 at 11:59pm EDT. To ask a question, or for submission instructions, judging criteria, official contest rules, and more information, visit


“PublicStuff is very excited to work with the City to extend the opportunity for developers, civic coders and engaged residents to provide easy access to services to community members. We are excited to see what participants have to offer and see the Philly311 app evolve,“ said Founder and CEO of PublicStuff, Lily Liu.

Headquartered in New York City and Philadelphia, PublicStuff helps local governments turn civic inquiries into tangible community improvements by connecting people directly to their city representatives. PublicStuff’s digital communications solution has helped Philly311 provide the easiest, most efficient way for civic leaders to interact with their community.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Neighborhoods, Press Release, Topics
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