Beyond Code in the Tomorrow City

Article in the Next City: “Since 2009, the San Francisco-based non-profit Code for America has embedded its budding techies in one-year fellowships with city halls around the country. The goal: To build apps that make city governments run more effectively and bolster engagement between citizens and civil servants. But even Code founder Jennifer Pahlka — who hatched the idea for her organization over beers in Flagstaff, Ariz. and will soon take a year off herself to serve as a White House chief technology officer — admits that apps alone can’t solve the world’s problems. That might explain why the group’s mission is in flux, with hard questions and new projects pushing the increasingly high-profile group into its own 2.0 moment. Journalist Nancy Scola goes inside the Code for America universe, talking to believers and skeptics alike to find out how the organization is evolving and what that means for the future of the civic tech movement and cities at large.