City of Portland Launches CivicApps Design Contest

Office of Mayor Sam Adams

For immediate release

City of Portland Launches CivicApps Design Contest Challenges software developers, citizens to put forward their best ideas, apps

Portland, Ore. -- The City of Portland today announced the launch of CivicApps for Greater Portland, an open source design contest to showcase regional open data and promote collaboration between citizens and government to create applications, or “apps”, that address civic issues and benefit the greater Portland community.

The CivicApps event includes two separate phases: Idea Gathering and Application Development. In Phase One, Portlanders are encouraged to submit their ideas, the best of which will go on to Phase Two. The Apps Challenge phase will feature two independent development rounds to accommodate as many local developers as possible. All applications resulting from the event will be licensed under open source for anyone to use, customize, or extend for the benefit of the community.

“Through CivicApps, we're harnessing the phenomenal talent of Portland’s mobile and software development communities," said Mayor Sam Adams. "At the same time, we're making the best use of open data to improve government for citizens and increase transparency."

To create CivicApps, Portland released more than 100 datasets from jurisdictions, including the City of Portland, Metro, TriMet and others, positioning Portland as the only city offering inter-jurisdictional open datasets in the United States. The datasets include information regarding crime, building permits, parks, transportation and liquor license applications and more.

“The Software Association of Oregon is proud to partner with the City of Portland, Metro, Multnomah County, Tri-Met and others on a software application design contest that will bring the top creative class and technology leaders together for new applications," said Matt Nees, president of the SAO. "This is a great platform to raise the visibility of the talented software developers and creative individuals that call the Portland-Metro area home.”

The apps will be judged by a combination of community voting and panel voting throughout the duration of the event, allowing for continued submission of ideas and apps throughout the event and beyond. CivicApps will create and sustain dialogue between government and citizens surrounding civic issues and technology solutions. The foundation of the CivicApps project is the belief that making data more accessible will encourage civic innovation, making the data more useful, and ultimately furthering transparency and democracy in the Portland region.

For more information or to get involved, please visit or contact Rick Nixon at Follow the event developments on Facebook or on Twitter.