Using Design to Promote Health: 4 Tips to get You Started

Four years ago, after recognizing this expansive definition of health, we began to explore the research connecting design with social and civic life. Fresh off the press, CfAD has just published the Assembly: Civic Design Guidelines as a practical and inspiring playbook to empower a diverse cross-section of implementers to use design to support civic life.

Strategies for Sustainable Food Systems in Smart Cities

In addition to the needs on the entrepreneurship side, it also became readily apparent that the urban farming industry is siloed and frequently disconnected from the outside world. To address this we have created workshops and conferences that focus on bringing people of diverse backgrounds together and introducing urban agriculture to a wider audience than just ag-tech entrepreneurs.

How to Create Successful Distributed Generation Programs

Market rules and regulations must be clear, simple, and visible to all market participants. They should allow for fair competition and for reasonable returns on investment. This way, sellers and buyers are encouraged to make investments.

Optimizing Urban Traffic Patterns in the Age of Navigation Apps

For City, County, and State agency staff and engineers, agency personnel are confronting cell phone navigational applications that choose the quickest routes based on calculated pathways (algorithms), not based on the classifications for the roadway use. The roadways are classified to balance access, speed and traffic volumes. What has occurred as a result of these navigation apps is a significant increase in cut-through traffic, speeding on side streets, and, for traffic engineers, greater use of roadways not intended for higher volumes.

The Micro-Mobility Revolution

The Micro-Mobility Revolution

The explosion of electric scooter services in the United States in 2018 took many by surprise — both in the public and private sectors. While many cities are working to determine how to develop policies and frameworks for managing this latest wave of transportation innovation, our study presents independent analysis on the adoption and perceptions of electric scooters to help guide mobility strategies.

Looking Beyond Borders: The Reality of Migration in Cities

Looking Beyond Borders: The Reality of Migration in Cities

Current mediatised depictions of the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ would have us place this phenomenon in a border fence, raft on the sea or at a makeshift camp. However, this is only the beginning of the story. Paradoxically, some people risk it all in treacherous...

Mayors May Hold the Keys to Climate Adaptation

Mayors May Hold the Keys to Climate Adaptation

Mayors control many of the powers necessary to address climate change. Research from C40 shows that Mayors control the key sectors which influence the mitigation of carbon emissions and adaptation to climate impacts from transportation and building codes to waste. These areas represent the key sectors for emissions reductions in cities.

Planning Public Spaces to Drive Health Equity

Planning Public Spaces to Drive Health Equity

The social and environmental factors that influence our health do not play out in a linear way—they interact with and affect each other. We are each the product of our cumulative experience, and our health is the product of our cumulative exposures over a lifetime. For that reason, we sought to provide a holistic model for individual and community health and well-being.

Building Resilience with Microgrids and Smart Energy

Building Resilience with Microgrids and Smart Energy

In some regions, electric grids have increased capacity, become more reliable, much better at integrating distributed renewables, smarter and more resilient. In other places, serious investment is needed to reduce the risk of failure in storms and malfunctions that cause everything from wildfires to millions living for days in darkness. Microgrids are a growing part of the solution.

8 Smart Cities Lessons from the Military

8 Smart Cities Lessons from the Military

Many of the techniques that enabled this evolution to take place were not learned in northern California. For me, Smart City concepts originated in muddy holes, sandstorms and military classrooms around the world. Functional Smart City use cases originated in the cabs of Public Works trucks and at water treatment plants and were articulated by City employees with decades of civil service experience, not a coding background. Truly smart evolutions grow out of solving real problems for real people based on real experiences.

Advancing Inclusive City Design in Transportation

The final day of Mobilize Dar es Salaam, June 28th, 2018, began with the plenary, “Advancing Inclusive City Design from Fringe to Mainstream.” On the premise that an equitable city takes into account the needs of everyone— including women, children, elderly people, and people with disabilities—in transport planning, the session explored ideas and dilemmas of designing inclusive transit systems.

Electrify Everything and Slow Climate Change

In California, millions of homes are all-electric and 819,337 have solar roofs. Electric heat pumps can accommodate all needs for water heating, air conditioning and heating. Starting in 2020, all new California homes will be required to be zero-energy, accomplished by being well insulated, very efficient, all electric, and having solar roofs. Zero-energy homes, government and commercial buildings will allow the major cities of San Diego, San Francisco, and even massive Los Angeles to meet city goals of using 100 percent renewables.

How Smart Cities Will Impact Retail Sales

US retail is, at present in robust good health, as measured by the most important metric: overall year-on-year revenue. What’s going on is not an apocalypse, but an ever-accelerating, very-Darwinian process of natural selection.

How Measuring Resource Use Can Lead to Policy Change

Analysis and policy recommendations stemming from the City Footprinting Project will strive for territorial cohesion and equity. They will also aim at developing public policy instruments to preserve and improve the natural capital of each municipality and strengthen the sustainable management of the landscape and of natural resources.

Regulatory Reset Needed on Uber, Self-Driving Cars

Advocates for better public transportation and sustainable mobility need to bring imagination, courage, and determination to our work every day. Technology and business model innovation disruptions will not cease. Those who think that, like King Canute, they can hold back the tide will soon find themselves washed away by the relentless advance of modernity. The question for sustainable mobility advocates is whether that tide will also erode public transportation ridership to dangerously low levels, and whether 20th century auto-centric models that pass for 21st century mobility innovation will ultimately degrade, or at least frustrate our ability to improve, our quality of life. We are challenged as never before to think and act creatively.

4 Ways Civic Organizations Can Use Media to Build Trust

In this climate of distrust, we conducted a study to learn how activists and civic institutions are leveraging media and digital technology to rebuild and reimagine new approaches to civic discourse and action. Through our conversations with over 40 practitioners in Boston, Chicago, and Oakland, we provide a way of identifying and evaluating media and technology designed to facilitate democratic process.
We spoke to people in a variety of civic organizations (everything from government, arts, to community journalism), who were grappling with the challenge of using new media and technology to engage, or connect with the publics they serve.  Among these practitioners, we saw that their work reflected an ethic of care, an essential part of citizenship that orients people towards an understanding that citizenship is the practice of how we work with others to take care of the world we live in.

How the Next Generation of Mobility will Affect Cities

Mobility is not about a car or a bus, it’s about accessing the resources we need in a timely manner or being in contact with people we want to interact with, for any number of reasons. We have already seen how technology can enable remote access to information and some basic medical care, how people can work remotely from an office base or enable a web of delivery services to avoid the need for individual transport to and from a location. New technologies, both those we label as mobility and those we call Internet based, will continue to evolve and further alter what we think of as mobility.

TNCs Existential Threat to Public Transportation

It is more than ironic that well into the 21st Century, the one great disruptive change in personal mobility is built upon the increased use of the internal combustion engine. Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft have become major players in the provision of personal mobility, primarily in urban areas. The problem with TNCs – and I say “problem” because it relates to what I perceive as their most negative impacts – is the essential auto-centric nature of the industry.

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