News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 05/21/2013
Subject :

Palo Alto Joins Cities Across Country for National Day of Civic Hacking
Daylong family friendly festival will feature art, music, food and fun for entire community
Contact : Jonathan Reichental, Chief Information Officer    650-329-2121
Palo Alto, CA – On June 1, the City of Palo Alto will once again prove its reputation as the birthplace of Silicon Valley when it hosts the first-ever National Day of Civic Hacking at its own local hackathon. Palo Alto is one of 80 cities across the country that are joining the White House to organize a daylong effort to use technology to tackle local civic or social challenges. The theme of the family friendly event is "Come to Inspire and Be Inspired," at a location dubbed CityCamp Palo Alto that will include arts activities, hands-on making, displays of robots and electric cars, expert talks by notable speakers from across Silicon Valley, an idea hackathon, local bands, food, and much more. Local businesses will also participate in the festival, and area employers are encouraged to promote the event to their workforce. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on University Avenue in Palo Alto.    

“Palo Alto's leading role in the National Day of Civic Hacking supports the Council’s priority of technology and the connected City,” said Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff. “The day also offers something for everybody with families and the entire community able to enjoy a variety of fun and creative activities.”  

The National Day of Civic Hacking is a public-private-people partnership and is backed by the White House through the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Civic hackers are essentially community members (engineers, software developers, designers, entrepreneurs, activists, concerned citizens) who collaborate with others, including government to invent ways to improve the quality of life in their communities. In the most positive meaning of the term, civic hacking is a form of citizen engagement and volunteerism. 

“This is the ultimate expression of community engagement where stakeholders collaborate, share ideas and harness the collective spirit that ultimately is how cities will lead societal transformation in the future,” said Palo Alto City Manager Jim Keene. 

The City’s participation in the National Day of Civic Hacking is an extension of its efforts to use “open data” – the vast amounts of information that government has that can be used to improve daily life. Palo Alto has launched a number of open data initiatives to provide the community with publicly accessible information on topics ranging from the City’s budget to its geographical blueprint.  

“One of the goals of CityCamp Palo Alto is to launch an ongoing effort to connect civic problems to civic solvers,” said Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental. “If we inspire the creation of even one important solution for one city problem, the day will be a success.”

For more information on CityCamp Palo Alto, go to or follow us at