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Should Cities Give Hackathons Another Look to Improve Digital Infrastructure?

A 36-hour coding session in Boston recently helped revamp the city's permit system.
Is it time for municipalities to give hackathons another chance?
Is it time for municipalities to give hackathons another chance?Flickr/Sebastiaan ter Burg

As fast as they fell in love with them, cities have begun to dump hackathons.

The rapid-fire coding events generated big buzz over the past few years from municipalities looking for new ways to modernize their technology infrastructure. When it became clear that the events did not produce the overnight results many hoped for, even CityLab wondered, "Are Civic Hackathons Stupid?" At the time, a former chief technical officer of Seattle claimed that they were actually "becoming counterproductive" tools for municipalities.