Interested in environmental justice, and how government and advocates use open data to advance this cause? Join NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice for a conversation, an open Q&A with expert panelists, and a preview of an upcoming environmental justice mapping tool.

The panel will focus on the impact of data accessibility and open data tools on environmental justice (EJ) work. Panelists are

  • Manny Salgado, EJ Research Analyst for West Harlem Environmental Action Inc (WEACT); specializing in geosciences
  • Tai Lung, Environmental Protection Specialist for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); who led all internal aspects of EJSCREEN, the EPA’s EJ mapping and screening tool
  • Dave LaShell, NYC Manager for Esri, the world’s leading supplier of GIS software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications

Looking for an introduction to OpenStreetMaps? Want to practice your mapping?

Join BetaNYC’s Civic Innovation Fellows at Maria Hernandez Park to learn how we are Mapping for Equity this semester.

We recently piloted a semester-long OpenStreetMap project to identify the location of different public amenities—from public bathrooms to wheelchair-accessible play equipment and benches. We are collecting this data so New Yorkers can use it to create more equitable public spaces in their neighborhoods.

Our partners are the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance and the office of Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez District 34. Together we are building a comprehensive public space data playbook so that any community organization or individual can learn how to collect, verify, and analyze public realm data for their own uses.

Participants at this event will join BetaNYC’s Civic Innovation Fellows in the field. You’ll shadow us as we map (on paper) the location and features of different public amenities.

If you’re already skilled in OpenStreetMap, you’re welcome to help us map! If you’re new to it, you’ll have a chance to join in on the action and learn with us!

Beyond the event, the information we collect in the field will be uploaded into OpenStreetMap, an open data platform for community data.

Prepare to walk, talk, and spot features to map Maria Hernandez Park.


Please meet us promptly at 10:00 am at Nook Bk (coffee shop!). From there, we will head over to Maria Hernandez Park.

Accessibility note: This event will involve moving at an easy to moderate pace at ground level over short distances. Maria Hernandez Park has an area of approximately 500 sqft. Please contact the organizer with any accessibility questions or concerns!

Join this conversation with NYC Parks data and technology leaders to learn about the agency’s Open Data and how the NYC Tree Map was built. City residents can use the interactive tree map to learn about the City’s urban forest.

As part of this session, you’ll hear how NYC Parks uses geospatial enterprise asset management systems and web and mobile applications to collect, update, manage, visualize, and analyze data on the City’s trees and tree work operations.

There are evident inequities in how public space is distributed, restricted, used, and made unusable, and how this results in clear disparities in public health, mobility, and environmental justice for New Yorkers, across all New York neighborhoods. Spatial Equity NYC, a new tool developed by Transportation Alternatives and MIT, reveals these inequities through the visualization of open-access spatial data, providing policymakers and the public with critical access to knowledge in advocating for and implementing necessary change.

The Spatial Equity NYC tool visualizes this key data by mobility, environment, and health categories, and indicates where spatial inequities are most prevalent. Users can compare their neighborhoods and see how community boards and council districts rank amongst each other. The tool also presents potential solutions related to spatial equity indicators and invites users to interface directly with their elected officials in advocating for more equitable solutions. Spatial Equity NYC tells a story of public space, and how we can all work toward a more equitable city for all New Yorkers.

This demonstration will explain why such a tool was so necessary, how it came about, why relying on NYC’s Open Data was so integral to not just building it, but building trust in the analysis, and how it will and already has shaped advocacy.  As part of this event, we’ll also discuss limitations in the source Open Data in both frequency and level of detail, and how changes here might further improve the Spatial Equity NYC tool. Additionally, there will be a live demo of the website showing attendees how to use the tool, all the different features, and explain what changes are expected next.

** To attend this event, you must register for it here.**

In this hybrid in-person and virtual presentation, the Data Clinic team will demonstrate their latest open source tool, TREC: Transit Resiliency for Essential Commuting.

TREC was built to help planners and advocates prioritize improvements to transportation stations that provide critical access to vital services such as hospitals and essential job centers, and that are at elevated risk of experiencing a climate-related disaster such as flooding.

Developed as part of The Opportunity Project’s Fall 2022 sprint led by the Census and the Federal Transit Administration, this tool helps users understand the intersectional impact between climate-related risks, transit, and communities; and demonstrates the power open data has to inform planning and advocacy action.

Data Clinic will share their process, from finding relevant open datasets, describing the data’s advantages and disadvantages, and meeting with user advocates, to how they made crucial decisions and assumptions in the development process to produce a cohesive set of insights. Data Clinic will end the session with an opportunity to ask questions and share how attendees can contribute to the tool. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity to mingle with the Data Clinic team and fellow attendees.

Registration is required to attend this event either in-person at our office or virtually via Google Meet. Please register at:

Event Schedule:

12-1pm: Hybrid presentation and Q&A
1-1:30pm: In-person networking & TREC demos

Ever wonder how the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) manages the millions of tons per year that it collects from the curb?

Attend this session to learn about the network of contractors that DSNY uses to handle the refuse, recyclables, and organic materials that it collects from NYC residents, agencies, and institutions. DSNY will explain why these vendors are used and how it is decided which NYC districts will use a specific vendor.

The history of moving DSNY-managed waste through and out of NYC involves politics, consideration of impacts and equity, high-tech solutions, and long-term public and private partnerships which most New Yorkers don’t even realize when they deposit their discards down the chute or place them at the curb.

This event is organized by Marni Aaron, Senior Business Analyst, NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY)

With support from:

  • Adam Conanan, Deputy Director, Solid Waste Management, DSNY
  • Sarah Dolinar, Director, Solid Waste Management Compliance/Contracts, DSNY
  • Jen McDonnell, Director, Waste Management Planning, DSNY

Join this hands-on workshop on Randall’s Island to learn about Internet of Things (IoT) water quality monitoring technologies. We will visit a sampling site along the Harlem River; learn how dissolved oxygen and pH are monitored; and explore how this data is processed, shared, and used. Students can explore the environmental sciences, and everyone will gain an understanding of the importance of water testing.

Duro UAS is a Bronx-based company that develops and builds environmental sensors. The Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA) is a non-profit organization that works with the City of New York to steward Randall’s Island Park. The Alliance sustains, maintains, develops and programs the Park to support the well being of all New Yorkers.

This event will meet in-person on Randall’s Island at the entrance to Icahn Stadium (20 Randall’s Island Park, New York, NY 10035).


Close out Open Data Week with us at NYC School of Data!

BetaNYC’s annual civic tech community conference invites New Yorkers to engage with the City’s technology, data and design communities during Open Data Week.

When: Saturday, March 18th
Where: CUNY School of Law
Tickets: Registration is required to attend!
View the Program:

This year we will explore the many worlds of open data in NYC. There will be over 30 panel events, classroom-style discussions, trainings and workshops that cover open data and public interest technology topics like digital services, civic technology, analytics, smart cities, and open government.

You’re invited, whether you’re new to the community or well-acquainted! Spend the day with us improving your data skills, discovering tools and work by other New Yorkers, and making new connections.

NYC School of Data is organized by BetaNYC, with programming support from the NYC Office of Data Analytics and hosted by CUNY School of Law.

All tickets include breakfast, lunch and coffee/beverages. Thank you for contributing to help us cover the costs of producing a large event! Interested in volunteering?  Interested in a scholarship ticket? Need childcare? Work for Government? Read on…

Are you a student or looking for a scholarship or volunteer opportunity? There are a select number of student / scholarship / hardship tickets available. Tickets are $35 and we will prioritize traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities. You must apply by Wednesday, 15 March at 5:00 PM and register on Eventbrite by Thursday, 16 March at 8 AM. < >.

For volunteer opportunities, learn more and apply via this form. If you have any questions, email us at < >.

Childcare: This year, we have contracted Broadway Babysitters for on-site child care. Parents must register their child(ren) before March 9th at 8 PM by selecting the Childcare Ticket. Childcare is free for ticket holders. All ages are accommodated. For your child(ren) to attend, please register to them via eventbrite; select the Childcare Ticket. For other questions, please email us at < >.

Do you work for Government? If you work for government and want to purchase $55 tickets via a check or a purchase order (PO), government ticket opportunities close on Wednesday, 15 March by 5:00 PM. Please fill out this form or email < >.