Every New York City now has a digital companion: there’s Astoria.nyc, Bushwick.nyc, Chelsea.nyc, Douglaston.nyc, GreenwichVillage.nyc, Harlem.nyc, etc., nearly 400 in all. Here we discuss how traditional neighborhoods can use these digital additions to improve governance and facilitate more livable neighborhoods. Our “dotNeighborhoods” initiative looks at the needs of residents and neighborhoods and presents ways the Internet can solve problems and highlight opportunities.

It looks domain name allocation process and license, content guidelines, public interest commitments, technology options, oversight, and business models. Our goal with our “dotNeighborhoods” initiative is to enable neighborhood residents to connect, decide, and organize to address needs and opportunities.

(Commons Photo courtesy of sporkwrapper.)

The Need

Neighborhoods thrive when residents are provided with the opportunity to fruitfully connect and share. But traditional media technologies enable have not been adapted to local communication needs. Here’s a comparison of the mass communication resources in one city neighborhood and a small Indiana city with a similarly sized population.

Local Media ­Resource Comparison 
Terre Haute, Indiana Jackson Heights
Population 105,000 95,000
Television Stations 2 0
Daily Newspapers 1 0
Radio Stations 8 0

Those familiar with trying to effecting local change in New York City will recognize the consequence of this “Triple Zero” situation: an inability to identify problems, no local memory, an inability to connect with neighbors, and poor decision making and organizing processes.

The .nyc TLD brings the potential for establishing “civic media” that empowers neighborhood residents, enabling them to identify problems and opportunities while providing decision making and organizing tools that create stronger neighborhoods and a more livable city. And with life becoming more “digital,” more work tasks will move to the home with neighborhoods assuming expanded roles.

Local control of neighborhood domain names will provide organizational and identity advantages on the same order and magnitude as a city-TLD. But acquiring and maintaining neighborhood domain names as locally controlled resources will be a challenging task, with governance and a business model are amongst the key issues.

The “dotNeighborhood” names are an empowering resource that might be thought of as owned in common by the residents of the respective neighborhoods. One governance model sees them as constituting a “commons” with a Trust for Neighborhood Names providing support their long term development. The Trust would be a legal entity responsible for protecting a shared asset inherited from past generations, on behalf of current and future generations.


One model for oversight of the dotNeighborhood names sees a tiered model.

The first level proposes the assignment of the dotNeighborhood names to a Trust for Neighborhood names, with individual names, e.g., JacksonHeights.nyc, assigned to responsible local entities.

Entities interested in a Trusted dotNeighborhood name must meet these criteria:

  • Board members must live or work in the neighborhood
  • Agree to Content Guidelines
  • Demonstrate financial wherewithal
  • Possess technical proficiency
  • Commit to infuse dotNeighborhoods with innovation, distinctiveness, and tech talent
  • Work toward universal access to the Net

Oversight entities will retain stewardship of their neighborhood domain name by demonstrating participation and control of their governance processes by neighborhood representatives from:

  • businesses
  • home owners
  • renters
  • institutions
  • schools
  • students
  • parent associations
  • and residents

Content Guidelines

Stewardship of a dotNeighborhood requires commitment to provide the following:

  • Neighborhood map
  • Schools Listing
  • Links to government offices
  • Neighborhood history
  • Demographics
  • Local business directory
  • Hospitals
  • 24-hour pharmacies
  • Parks, landmarks, and monuments
  • Vistas and points of interest
  • Museums and cultural centers
  • Religious / Faith based centers
  • Calendar of events­
  • Restaurants, bars, night clubs
  • Civic organizations and clubs
  • Bus, cab, bike maps
  • Flea and barter networks
  • Sustainability programs
  • Civic applications

Accountability Mechanisms

Processes to assure that dotNeighborhoods serve local needs should include the following metrics:

  • Representative membership on oversight council
  • Neighborhood engagement channels
  • Operation policies favoring local content
  • Resident appraisals of local content
  • Program encouraging local advertising
  • Periodic contract review by Trust for Neighborhood Names

Contested Names

The Trust for Neighborhood Names will be the arbiter when there are competing applicants for a dotNeighborhood name.

Blakanization of Neighborhoods

What’s the impact of digital media upon neighborhoods? This dotNeighborhoods wiki page attests to the potential of locally controlled sites. But what if we don’t agree to use the dotNeighborhood names? Imagine…

  • JacksonHeightsLife.com
  • JacksonHeights.NYDailyNews.com
  • NYTimes.com/JacksonHeights
  • JacksonHeights.Patch.com
  • JacksonHeights.Neighborly.com
  • Google.com/JacksonHeights
  • JacksonHeights.Yahoo.com
  • JacksonHeights.NewYork.craigslist.com
  • YP.com/JacksonHeights
  • Nextdoor Jackson Heights

In such a world how will we find one another? How will we plan our future? Where is the “center” of the neighborhood? (See related blog post.)

Our locally “owned” neighborhoods will change the basic feel of our neighborhoods. Residents will connect with one another and establish for them a character that differs in fundamental ways from what exists today. A recognized and realized shared ownership, enabled the network, will created this shift. The perceived hierarchy of government and institutions will abate, with neighborhood networks assuming the lions share of the communication and coordination efforts, governed under what’s become known as a multistakeholder model.

Many New York City neighborhoods have historic roots, defined borders, and strong civic cultures. Others are in decline, being absorbed by their more tony neighbors. Still others are germinating in the minds of developers and civic activists. There’s one thing every neighborhood shares: the inability of residents to effectively communicate with one another.

Business  Model

A business model that enables local control is vitally important. Establishing such control will be challenging as there’s and expectation of vast economic value in local advertising, and the dotNeighborhood names are likely to be seen as enabling mechanisms. (Read Fast Company’s: “Can Anyone Tap the $100 Billion Potential of Hyperlocal News?” for insight into this line of thinking. There the author details the experiments at AOL and the New York Times to capture local advertising revenue in Maplewood, New Jersey – part of that nation-wide $100 billion.)

In the face of such huge profit expectations, there will be enormous pressure for privatizing neighborhood domain names. A business model is needed. Possible revenue elements are discussed here.

There’s a potential for mom and pop to connect with their customers on these sites, generating advertising revenue, and if we can keep it local, mom and pop and and all neighborhood residents will benefit.

Here we begin to consider the development of local civic media centers and how they can help residents and neighborhoods better communicate in the coming years. See the dotNeighborhood Discussions for recent developments.

Named Neighborhoods in “dot” Format

How many neighborhoods are there? Estimates range from 248 by the Department of Finance to 500+ by one neighborhood activist. As a start, we’ve listed below 305 neighborhoods the City Planning Commission identified on its website in 2008 and urge that they be set aside as civic infrastructure. If you are aware of a neighborhood that’s missing from the below list, email [email protected]  with details.
In assigning neighborhood names we recommend the distribution of “name clouds,” thus the recipient of the neighborhood domain name for Greenwich Village will receive greenwich-village.nyc as well as greenwichvillage.nyc.

­Brooklyn Neighborhoods – by Community District

1. FlushingAvenue.nyc, Greenpoint.nyc, Northside.nyc, Southside.nyc, Williamsburg.nyc

2. BoerumHill.nyc, BrooklynHeights.nyc, BrooklynNavyYard.nyc, ClintonHil.nyc, FortGreene.nyc, FultonFerry.nyc, FultonMall.nyc

3. Bedford-Stuyvesant.nyc, OceanHil.nyc, StuyvesantHeights.nyc

4. Bushwick.nyc, Ridgewood.nyc

5. CityLine.nyc, CypressHills.nyc, EastNewYork.nyc, HighlandPark.nyc, NewLots.nyc, StarrettCity.nyc

6. CarrollGardens.nyc, CobbleHill.nyc, Gowanus.nyc, ParkSlope.nyc, and ((RedHook.nyc))

7. SunsetPark.nyc, WindsorTerrace.nyc

8. CrownHeights.nyc, Prospect Heights.nyc, Weeksville.nyc

9. CrownHeights.nyc, ProspectLeffertsGardens,.nyc Wingate.nyc

10. BayRidge.nyc, Dyker Heights, FortHamilton.nyc

11. BathBeach.nyc, Bensonhurst.nyc, Gravesend.nyc, Mapleton.nyc

12. BoroPark.nyc, Kensington.nyc, Midwood.nyc, OceanParkway.nyc

13. Bensonhurst.nyc, BrightonBeach.nyc, ConeyIsland.nyc, Gravesend.nyc, Seagate.nyc

14. Flatbush.nyc, Kensington.nyc, Midwood.nyc, OceanParkway.nyc

15. EastGravesend.nyc, GerritsenBeach.nyc, Homecrest.nyc, KingsBay.nyc, KingsHighway.nyc, Madison.nyc, ManhattanBeach.nyc, PlumBeach.nyc, SheepsheadBay.nyc

16. Brownsville.nyc, OceanHill.nyc

17. DitmasVillage.nyc, EastFlatbush.nyc, Erasmus.nyc, Farragut.nyc, RemsenVillage.nyc, Rugby.nyc,

18. BergenBeach.nyc, Canarsie.nyc, Flatlands, Georgetown.nyc, MarinePark.nyc, MillBasin.nyc, MillIsland.nyc

Bronx Neighborhoods – by Community District

1. Melrose.nyc,  MottHaven.nyc, and PortMorris.nyc

2. HuntsPoint.nyc, Longwood.nyc, and Morrisania.nyc  

3. ClaremontVillage.nyc, ConcourseVillage.nyc, CrotonaPark.nyc Morrisania.nyc, and Woodstock.nyc

4. Concourse.nyc, ConcourseVillage.nyc, Highbridge.nycand MountEden.nyc

5. Bathgate.nyc, Fordham.nyc, MorrisHeights.nyc, MountHope.nyc and UniversityHeights.nyc

6. Bathgate.nyc, Belmont.nyc, BronxParkSouth.nyc EastTremont.nyc, and  WestFarms.nyc 

7. BedfordPark.nyc, Fordham.nyc, JeromePark.nyc, KingsbridgeHeights.nyc Norwood.nyc, UniversityHeights.nyc

8. Fieldston.nyc, Kingsbridge.nyc, KingsbridgeHeights.nyc, MarbleHill.nyc, Riverdale.nyc, SpuytenDuyvil.nyc, and VanCortlandtVillage.nyc 

9. BronxRiver.nyc, Bruckner.nyc, CastleHill.nyc, ClasonPoint.nyc, HardingPark.nyc, Parkchester.nyc, Soundview.nyc, and Unionport.nyc   

10. Co-opCity.nyc, CityIsland.nyc, CountryClub.nyc, EastchesterBay.nyc, Edgewater.nyc, LocustPoint.nyc, PelhamBay.nyc, Schuylerville.nyc, SilverBeach.nyc, SpencerEstates.nyc, ThrogsNeck.nyc WestchesterSquare.nyc, and Zerega.nyc

11. Allerton.nyc, Bronxdale.nyc, Laconia.nyc, MorrisPark.nyc, PelhamGardens.nyc, PelhamParkway.nycVanNest.nyc 

12. Baychester.nyc, Eastchester, Edenwald.nycFishBay.nyc, Olinville.nyc, Wakefield.nyc, Williamsbridge.nyc, and Woodlawn.nyc

Manhattan Neighborhoods – by Community District

1. BatteryParkCity.nyc, Seaport/CivicCenter.nyc, FinancialDistrict.nycTribeca.nyc

2. Chinatown.nyc, GreenwichVillage.nyc, WestVillage.nyc, LittleItaly.nyc LowerEastSide.nyc, NoHo.nyc, SoHo.nyc 

3 Chinatown.nyc, EastVillage.nyc, LowerEastSide.nyc, TompkinsSquare.nyc,  TwoBridges.nyc  

4. Chelsea.nyc, Clinton.nyc  

5. Midtown.nyc 

6. Gramercy Park, KipsBay.nyc, MurrayHill.nyc, PeterCooperVillage.nyc, StuyvesantTown.nyc, SuttonPlace.nyc, TudorCity.nyc, TurtleBay.nyc,

7. ManhattanValley.nyc, UpperWestSide.nyc, and LincolnSquare.nyc 

8. LenoxHill, RooseveltIsland.nyc, UpperEastSide.nyc, and Yorkville 

9. HamiltonHeights.nyc, Manhattanville.nyc, MorningsideHeights.nyc, and WestHarlem.nyc 

10. CentralHarlem.nyc 

11. EastHarlem.nyc  

12. Inwood.nyc and WashingtonHeights.nyc

Queens Neighborhoods – by Community District  

1. Astoria.nyc, Ditmars.nyc, GardenBay.nyc, LongIslandCity.nyc, OldAstoria.nyc, Queensbridge.nyc Ravenswood.nyc, Steinway.nyc, and Woodside.nyc 

2. LongIslandCity.nyc, Sunnyside.nyc, and Woodside.nyc 

3. ((JacksonHeights.nyc)), EastElmhurst.nyc, NorthCorona.nyc, and LaGuardiaAirport.nyc  

4. Corona.nyc, CoronaHeights.nyc, Elmhurst.nyc 

5. Glendale.nyc, LibertyPark.nyc, Maspeth.nyc, MiddleVillage.nyc, and Ridgewood.nyc  

6. ForestHills.nyc and RegoPark.nyc 

7. BayTerrace.nyc, Beechhurst.nyc, CollegePoint.nyc, Flushing.nyc, Malba.nyc, QueensboroHill.nyc, Whitestone.nyc, and WilletsPoint.nyc 

8. Briarwood.nyc, CunninghamHeights.nyc, FlushingSouth.nyc, FreshMeadows.nyc Hills.nyc, HilltopVillage.nyc, Holliswood.nyc, JamaicaEstates.nyc, Kew Gardens, PomonakHouses.nyc, and Utopia.nyc

9. KewGardens.nyc, OzonePark.nyc, RichmondHill.nyc, and Woodhaven.nyc 

10. HowardBeach.nyc, OzonePark.nyc, SouthOzonePark.nyc, RichmondHill.nyc, TudorVillage.nyc,  Lindenwood.nyc 

11. Auburndale.nyc, Bayside.nyc, Douglaston.nyc, EastFlushing.nyc, HollisHills.nyc, LittleNeck.nyc, and  OaklandGardens,.nyc 

12. BaisleyPark.nyc, Hollis.nyc, Jamaica.nyc, RochdaleVillage.nyc, SpringfieldGardens.nyc, SouthJamaica.nyc, and St.Albans.nyc

13. Bellerose.nyc, Brookville.nyc, CambriaHeights.nyc, FloralPark.nyc, GlenOaks.nyc, NewHydePark.nyc Laurelton.nyc, QueensVillage.nyc, and  Rosedale.nyc 

14. Arverne.nyc, Bayswater.nyc, BelleHarbor.nyc, BreezyPoint.nyc, Edgemere.nyc, FarRockaway.nyc, Neponsit.nyc, Rockaway.nyc, and  RockawayPark.nyc

Staten Island Neighborhoods – by Community District  

1. Arlington.nyc, CastletonCorners.nyc, Clifton.nyc, Concord.nyc, ElmPark.nyc, FortWadsworth.nyc, Graniteville.nyc, GrymesHill.nyc, Livingston.nyc, MarinersHarbor.nyc, MeiersCorners.nyc, NewBrighton.nyc, PortIvory.nyc, PortRichmond.nyc, RandallManor.nyc, Rosebank.nyc, StGeorge.nyc, ShoreAcres.nyc, SilverLake.nyc, Stapleton.nyc, Sunnyside.nyc, Tompkinsville.nyc, WestBrighton.nyc, and Westerleigh.nyc

2. Arrochar.nyc, Bloomfield.nyc, BullsHeads.nyc, ChelseaSI.nyc, DonganHills.nyc, Egbertville.nyc, EmersonHill.nyc, GrantCity.nyc, Grasmere.nyc, MidlandBeach.nyc, NewDorp.nyc, NewSpringville.nyc, Oakwood.nyc, OceanBreeze.nyc, OldTown.nyc, SouthBeach.nyc, TodtHill.nyc, and Travis.nyc

3. Annadale.nyc, ArdenHeights.nyc, BayTerrace.nyc, Charleston.nyc, Eltingville.nyc, Great Kills.nyc, Greenridge.nyc, Huguenot.nyc, Pleasant Plains, Prince’s Bay, RichmondValley.nyc, Rossville.nyc, Tottenville.nyc, and Woodrow.nyc  

We advocate the reservation of these neighborhood names as public spaces serving a variety of civic needs.

Note: These names are not exclusionary as additional neighborhood domain names will be made available, for example, Tourist-Greenwich-Village.nyc and Real-Greenwich-Village.nyc. See our Domain Name Allocation Plan for more on this.

Related Resources