• iCity

last modified March 3, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

Standardized naming structures across urban areas globally provide the promise of ease of physical and information navigation. Here we discuss what we're calling iCities.

The Paris Understanding


























































Below are a few stories to start off the iCities thinking process.

We expect the global coordination process to be guided by a cooperative document like that outlined in The Paris Understanding.

(It's a wiki - help out.)

The Global City

Jorge is walking east on 44th Street with his uncle Amadeu who is visiting from Barcelona. They've known of one another from family discussions but had only met 10 minutes earlier in front of the Algonquin Hotel. Jorge is 23 and visiting New York City for the first time since a high school trip. Amadeu was last in the city for a conference in the early 1990's. Neither is familiar with the city and Jorge is somewhat ill at ease as he lives in a Columbus, Ohio suburb and finds the big city totally intimidating. Amadeu senses this and assures Jorge that New York City uses the same cyber model as Barcelona, so getting around should be a cinch. Jorge looks to Amadeu with a puzzled look and offers a polite "Pardon?"

Amadeu explains that both cities signed on to something called the Paris Understanding and created iCity standards for naming physical and digital resources and presenting them to the world. Amadeu, realizing that a more detailed explanation would take some time, pushed on asking, "So what's the name of the restaurant you've wanted to go to?" "Fargo" shot back Jorge. Amadeu spoke Fargo and showed Jorge the resulting screen with the picture of the restaurant and a map next to it. Jorge looked and said "Yes, that's it." And off shot Amadeu saying "Follow me."

Joanie, the Precocious 

Standing just inside the Broadway entrance to Macy's, Joanie waited with one eye on the men's room door that her dad had disappeared into a minute earlier. But much of her attention drifted to a few adults next to her who were engaged in a lively discussion about where to take lunch. Going into 4th grade at P.S. 127 in the Fall, she could not fathom the basis for the lively and ill informed discussion. Here were these grownups going on and on about the type and location of restaurants that might be available to them - where were they, were they nearby, were they open, how much, what did they serve...

Joanie listened for a moment longer, then reaching far back into here memory to a second grade lesson by Miss Flarity, looked up at the group, and uttered with surprising aplomb for a soon-to-be 4th grader "Why don't you just go to restaurants.nyc. "That's spelled r-e-s-t-a-u-r-a-n-t-s dot n-y-c" she enunciated character by character with great care. Miss Flarity would have been proud.


It's 2015 and a family visiting from Berlin is in Times Square, gets hungry and decides to experience a slice of New York's renowned pizza. They turn to their phone, say "pizza" and a list from a google-like service flashes onto their screen. It provides several choices, but as they're discussing it, the wise mom says "Wait, isn't New York an iCity, like back home?" and the with that possibility in mind they say "pizza.nyc" and onto their screen pops a most excellent portal about pizza. It's got:

  • a map of pizza places in their immediate area
  • an alpha list searchable by distance, reviews, and price
  • adds and coupons on a sidebar
  • restaurant reviews from the public
  • and much more
"This is great." says the dad. The mom asks, "Is it available in German" and with a click dad says "Indeed." And shortly they’re off for a delightful lunch. (More on the pizza.nyc portal.) 
    Names to Facilitate International Travel

    On November 14, 2007 Connecting.nyc participated on a Broadening the Domain Name Space: Adding TLDs for Cities and Regions panel at the U.N. sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio. Panelist Sébastien Bachollet, appearing on behalf of the .paris TLD, previewed the internationalization study initiated by developers of the .nyc, .berlin, and .paris TLDs at an earlier ICANN meeting in Los Angeles. He provided three instances where second level domain names might be developed in various languages - www.taxi.nyc, www.hotels.paris, and www.hospital.berlin. By way of example, he explained that when in need of health care, German or French speaking visitors to New York City might enter www.krankenhaus.nyc or www.hôpital.nyc in their respective languages and receive pages with the needed, in some instances vital, information. We are continuing a dialog on this innovation.

                                                         Internationalized Travel Domain Names

    Berlin Paris
    New York City
    Taxi.berlin Taxi.paris Taxi.nyc

    Hospital.berlin Hôspital.paris
    City Hall




    Key .nyc Pages