The Vurb.Agency is an organizational consulting, digital product development, and hosted services agency, started by the directors of The Foundation For Public Code, that is focussed on solving the issues of cities, their citizens, and public or private organizations that support the ecology of Public Code.
We provide strategy, organizational management, design & development, hosting, support and communications around projects creating and maintaining digital public infrastructure.
Our ambition is to create an agency with a diverse portfolio of activities including innovative open software product development, open source and Public code facing organizational transformation and management, and hosted cloud services with support for cities and organizations.
The founders come from design, technology and communications backgrounds and are supported by advisors from large technology companies. We work with over 10 cities and public administrations across Europe and companies across the world.
The Foundation For Public Code
While Vurb.Agency strives to work with its clients to produce Public Code that supports livable digitally inhabited cities, the Foundation For Public Code will provide a long-term stewardship and development of the codebases, policies, and communities that cities and public institutions need to commit to implementation of these products and services.
In first round of adoption of digital tools by municipalities cities experienced lock-in and non-competitive pricing from technology vendors who sold them proprietary software in domains highly interconnected with city policies leading to a loss of sovereignty.
Vurb.Agency sees the Foundation For Public Code mission as furthering its own and provides it with the leadership and support it needs as well as taking the public stage on its behalf.
The Foundation For Public Code can also host software and policy developed as open-source by third parties, including the municipalities we work with in the agency. Additionally, the Foundation For Public Code aims to participate in structurally funded EU scale research and development funded by EU research grants.
Read more at publiccode.net
Space Programme: Reactive Public Environments
We believe a key component in successful deployment of Digital Public Infrastructure is public literacy and participation in the functioning of these systems.
In order to further these aims, we are engaging in a variety of projects to design, build, and deploy hardware and software to create public spaces which are fully immersive projection environments. These spaces will be platforms for citizens to design and explore interactive visualizations of city data, collaborative planning simulations, real time audiovisual performances and more.
This type of environment can help us understand the future function of public institutions like libraries and museums, and to prototype processes for new kinds of collaborative urban planning and community feedback.
By creating an open standard / recipe for hardware procurement and configuration, then providing a Public Code SDK for development, we create a space usable by anyone to build reactive immersive environments.
For both Vurb.Agency’s private and public clients, understanding organizational structure and change over time is a huge problem. To respond to this, Vurb.Agency is building a framework to visualize the complex metabolism of organizations like corporations and government departments dynamically and through many different lenses.
By making these visualization engines available as public code, we encourage organizations like municipalities, laboratories, start-ups and corporations to make these strategic tools a core part of their approach to decision-making and external communication.
Public Administration Open Source
Many cities are coming around to the processes in Open Source as a practical set of solutions for solving the issues they are facing around the increasing size of the problems they need to solve, the sovereignty they need and for the efficiencies that Open Source collaborations bring at scale.
Vurb.Agency works with Public Administrations in order to help them develop mature Open Source programmes and practices to build development communities through mentorship, leadership support, community management, operational support and agile process development.
This enables the Vurb.Agency to also perform its task in the Foundation For Public Code with greater effectiveness as the work with Public Administrations builds a strong network with cities, informs and shapes the state of Open Source in government and is a testing ground for best practices.
We are creating a viable future for cities and civic operating systems that are highly participatory and drive societal engagement. We help our clients communicate, prototype, and implement this future by guiding cultural transformations and developing applications.
The directors of the Foundation For Public Code started Vurb.Agency to provide commercial products and services around the advancement of Open Source and Public Code and leadership and support to the foundation itself.
We are specialists in developing processes, technologies and policies for public digital infrastructure that is inclusive, usable, adaptive, open and sustainable.
By employing Open Source processes to produce Public Code we are adding lasting value to the civic ecosystem with everything we do.