Conference Paper

Sustainable Hacking: Characteristics of the Design and Adoption of Civic Hacking Projects

Fulltext URI

Document type

Text/Conference Paper

Additional Information



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


ACM Press, New York


Public organizations increasingly collaborate with civic-minded technologists to develop digital interventions for public issues through civic hacking projects. However, civic hacking cannot be a long-term solution without a proper handover and sustainability plan. In this study, we investigated how to design sustainable civic hacking projects for local governments and nonprofit organizations through intentional planning during the design process. We examined the design process of 16 civic hacking projects in a small Midwestern city in the United States. Drawing on observations, interviews, and documentation analysis, we argue that sustainable hacking should leverage off-the-shelf technologies and build good relationships with various stakeholders. Partners and technologists should also learn from each other about community practices and how to develop a data mindset. We discuss the design and practical implications to facilitate more sustainable civic hacking design processes for public organizations.


Hou, Youyang; Lampe, Cliff (2017): Sustainable Hacking: Characteristics of the Design and Adoption of Civic Hacking Projects. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies. DOI: 10.1145/3083671.3083706. ACM Press, New York. ISBN: 978-1-4503-4854-6. pp. 125-134. Long Papers. Troyes, France. June 26-30, 2017