CivicArtworks Helps City Planners Get Community Feedback Through Software

On May 13th, civic startup CivicArtworks presented at OpenGov Hack Night. CivicArtworks is a tool to help city planners get feedback from residents during the planning phase of major projects.

CivicArtworks at OpenGovHack Night

Zach Borders of CivicArtworks at OpenGovHack Night

To get a sense of what CivicArtworks is all about, here’s their pitch video from the Impact Engine Demo Day.

The problem with the way with the normal process of getting community feedback during the planning process is that public meetings arn’t always well attended and the conversation tends to gear towards the loudest voices in the room. They also arn’t as well reported so that when a plan gets finalized and released, there’s always the possibility that the public will then express concern about the plan after the face.


CivicArtworks changes this by providing an online platform for residents to provide feedback. All residents need to do is to create an account on CivicArtworks or login using Facebook. During the first phase, residents can post and discuss ideas. What’s more, in the second phase, CivicArtworks can take the best of these ideas and conduct feedback polls.

For example, for the Wabash Ave project, one of the concerns was lighting. So, CivicArtworks started a poll asking residents what they wanted to see lit up first in order to determine the priority.


Once the feedback phase is complete, CivicArtworks produces an illustration of their recommendations and not just a thick book of recommendations. They do this so that people can actually see and understand the results of the plan and not have it buried in an urban plan. Here’s Zach Borders explaining why they do it this way.

CivicArtworks is a graduate of the social good accelerator Impact Engine and is working on campaigns all over the Midwest, including Border’s hometown of Washington, Illinois which was decimated by tornadoes last year.

To learn more about CivicArtworks, you can visit their website at