View Page as PDF

CitySync is...

  • A program to engage with residents, local businesses and developers to create new interactive online resources for and by the Portland regional community.
  • An innovative platform for tools and services to help localize resources for residents and local businesses, powered by a mix of government and community data.
  • A personalized end user experience that seeks to mobilize our community partners to help generate and build upon a collection of ideas, apps and data.
  • A complementary program to the City’s open data initiative, CivicApps For Greater Portland.

What is PDX CitySync?

The City of Portland is proud to partner with residents and local business to create a new, interactive online resource for and by the greater Portland community. CitySync, an innovative, personalized web-based platform, aims to engage our community partners to help generate and build upon ideas, apps, and data to support increased civic awareness, participation, and collaboration among residents, local business, and City government. CitySync is a platform for tools and services to help residents and local businesses, powered by government and community data.

In support of this effort, we'll be launching the CitySync Challenge, offering prize awards for top ideas and apps submitted by you, the local residents and businesses of Portland. All submissions will be juried for their benefit to the residential and business communities. Those apps chosen to have the greatest value to the community will be included as part of the CitySync app gallery, a collection of features available to the CitySync end-users.

More information on both CitySync and the CitySync Challenge will be announced in the days and weeks ahead.

CitySync Architectural Overview



City of Portland, eGovernment


Github: eGovPDX


How CitySync Works

CitySync is a collaborative effort with developers and local businesses to create componentized bits of functionality or “widgets” using some of today’s leading technology, such as the Drupal 7 framework. Each “widget” or app serves a limited and specific purpose to end users.

CitySync includes both a collaboration layer for developers and a participation layer for end users. Developers and local business partners have access to APIs, style guidelines, and a “test” instance of the CitySync environment for integration of their work. Developers also receive ongoing metric reports informing them of the relative “success” or utility of their app contributions to the CitySync platform. Users are able to curate their own features and services based on their locale and interest categories.

Designating your user type (Resident or Business) will configure the type of emphasis for information on your home page tab. Categories of Interest – also selected during your account setup – serve as a broad filtering mechanism to the types of news, information and events you’ll receive. Only information pertaining to the user’s selected interests or elected features is received. Relevance of information is further controlled by the user’s “radius” setting to the proximity of their information sources, such as “local deals” offered by only nearby businesses.

PDX CitySync Features

The following lists some (not all) of the anticipated features for CitySync:

  • Local News (Resident & Business) giving users access to local news and information, aggregated from a number of sources, based on their interest category selections and proximity to the information source.
  • Neighborhood Forum (Resident) supporting a user generated collection of discussions based on their neighborhood, facilitating ongoing discussion on neighborhood issues and interests.
  • PDX Reporter (Resident) provides residents an easy way to browse and view issues within their area that have been reported via the City’s mobile issue reporting app, PDX Reporter.
  • Project Funds Finder (Resident & Business) is a program promoting a cooperation model and “crowd- funding” of government sponsored projects or smaller expansion type projects for businesses to target their neighborhood clientele for funding of their smaller projects (e.g., a take-out window, a new deck, etc).
  • Shop / Buy Local (Resident) app allowing users to view and/or be notified of local deals and shopping offers by local businesses. Tied to both interest categories and the user’s radius setting (proximity to the business) this may also allow other relevant offers presented based on other criteria such as the specific businesses you frequent for example.
  • Your Local School (Resident) allows an easy way to access information specific to schools in your vicinity such as performance statistics as well as news and calendar information for the Portland school district.
  • Alerts (Resident & Business) allow for personal- ized alert information to be received and displayed upon receipt or a recurring basis. Examples include transit alerts, traffic, weather, garbage day, monthly water bill, quarterly business licenses taxes, etc.
  • B2B Reviews (Business) forums allowing for a user generated “Yelp” like service specific to local businesses; providing forum search, B2B peer feedback and recommendations, etc.
  • Business Community Forum facilitating a user generated B2B “townsquare” capability for trade discussions, marketing, in-kind services, etc.
  • Business Statistics allowing business owners to easy access both local and city-wide business statistics, including new businesses their area, most popular types of businesses, etc.
  • Civic Connect (Resident) allowing local govern- ment agencies to promote and residents to learn about public service opportunities, including both short-term and long-term roles for volunteer and/or other open positions on boards and commissions.
  • Civic Idea Board (Resident & Business) allowing insight and feedback to upcoming City Council agenda items and other user-generated ideas; search or browse ideas, comment and/or vote ideas up or down, etc.
  • Energy Efficiency Rating (Resident & Business) display the user’s energy rating or score for their home or business relative to others within the same zip code or radius setting (near proximity); allow users to refine their default score by supplying more specific information and returning a set of specific recommendations based on supplied information. Also allow users to perform their own cost/benefit analysis by supplying an impact calculator to use in addressing the specific set of recommendations.
  • Event Calendar (Resident & Business) to display event information based on aggregated calendars associated with the user’s interest categories and/or proximity to events.
  • Google Products Tutorial (Business) provides a screencast tutorial to instruct local businesses how to upload and syndicate their inventory and pricing information to Google Product Search. Instruct local businesses on how to compete with big box retailers in associating their uploaded inventory and pricing information to Google Places to geocode their locality of offerings to the CitySync user community and others on the web.