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


PRESS RELEASE 10/17/2013
Subject :

Palo Alto to Reach Out to Neighborhoods via Nextdoor, a Social Network for Neighborhoods
Contact : Sheila Tucker, Assistant to the City Manager    650-329-2452
Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650-329-2607
Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto is known as a community of neighborhoods with informed and involved citizens who care deeply about their neighborhoods and town. Starting on Oct. 17 at 5 p.m., the City will join more than 4,300 community members already using the Nextdoor platform as a way to reach out to neighborhoods. Nextdoor (, is a social network for neighborhoods that fosters neighbor-to-neighbor and citywide communication. 

Community members can use Nextdoor to create private websites for their neighborhoods where they can get to know their neighbors, ask questions and exchange local advice and recommendations. For example, neighbors use Nextdoor to share information about neighborhood watch and safety issues, local events, school activities, upcoming garage sales, lost pets and more.

"People lead very busy lives these days and are constantly juggling the demands of work and home," said City Manager James Keene. “Increasingly, individuals are turning to technology as a way to connect, and many conversations that used to occur over the fence between neighbors are now happening virtually – online. Nextdoor is a community connection tool that has been growing organically in Palo Alto. The City's site on Nextdoor will provide another channel for us to reach out and hear from citizens, who must opt in to receive City information and posts.  What is special about Nextdoor is that the City will have the ability to target information posts to the entire City or directly to the affected neighborhoods. However, the City cannot see or access the private posts of neighborhoods.”

The City’s previous pilot with rBlock, an online location-based communications network for residents and businesses ended in June, and those neighbors who participated in the rBlock pilot will be invited to join their neighborhood Nextdoor platform. 

How Nextdoor Works

The Nextdoor social network is free for users and requires members to verify that they live in the neighborhood. In Palo Alto, more than 4,300 citizens are already using the platform, which has enjoyed growth by word-of-mouth without an official launch. Citizens on the platform have mapped Palo Alto into 36 distinctive neighborhoods, and users are required to put in their real name and street address. Information shared on Nextdoor is password-protected and cannot be accessed by those outside the neighborhood or found on Google or other search engines.   

Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor website. Information shared on Nextdoor is only visible to verified members. The City of Palo Alto will be able to post important information, such as crime and safety updates or local events, to Nextdoor sites within the city. The City will not be able to access the members’ websites, contact information  or posted content.    

Community members can find their Nextdoor neighborhood site by going to and putting in their address. If a site has already been established by a community member in their area, they can immediately sign up. If Nextdoor is not yet established in a neighborhood, any citizen living in that community can establish one for their neighborhood. Click here for more information.