Researcher and Paratransit Operator Collaboration in South Africa

Meeting of the Minds took a few moments to talk with Herrie Schalekamp about new working relationships between researchers and paratransit operators in South Africa and beyond. Herrie is the ACET Research Officer at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Transport Studies. In addition to his research, teaching and consulting in the fields of paratransit and public transport reform he is involved in specialised educational programmes for paratransit operators and government officials. Herrie’s activities form part of a broader endeavour to investigate and contribute to improved public transport operations and regulation in Sub-Saharan African cities under ACET – the African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport.

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Leveraging Big Data & Analytics to Revitalize Brownfields

Brownfields are sites that are vacant or underutilized due to environmental contamination, real or imagined. There are brownfields of some kind in virtually every city and town in the U.S., usually related to a gas station, dry cleaner, auto repair shop, car dealership or some other ubiquitous local business that once benefited the community it now burdens with environmental hazards or old buildings.

In addressing this issue, technology has not been effectively deployed to promote redevelopment of these sites and catalyze community revitalization. We find that the question around the use of technology and data in advancing the redevelopment of brownfields is twofold:

How can current and future technology advancements be applied to upgrade existing brownfield modeling tools? And then, how can those modeling tools be used to accelerate transformative, sustainable, and smart redevelopment and community revitalization?

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New Public and Private Funding Strategies for Urban Parks

Across the country, urban parks are enjoying a renaissance. Dozens of new parks are being built or restored and cities are being creative about how and where they are located. Space under highways, on old rail infrastructure, reclaimed industrial waterfronts or even landfills are all in play as development pressure on urban land grows along with outdoor recreation needs.

These innovative parks are helping cities face common challenges, from demographic shifts, to global competitiveness to changing climate conditions. Mayors and other city officials are taking a fresh look at parks to improve overall community health and sense of place, strengthen local economies by attracting new investments and creating jobs, help manage storm water run-off, improve air quality, and much more. When we think of city parks holistically, accounting for their full role in communities, they become some of the smartest investments we can make.

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California to be at 50% Renewable Energy by 2030

In addition to meeting traditional electricity needs for homes and buildings, demand for electricity is growing with increased population, economic growth, water pumping, recycling and desalination, and millions traveling in electric cars, buses and rail. Although California has only 13 percent of the nation’s population, it has half the nation’s solar power, half the grid storage, and half the electric vehicles.

California is on track to use 50 percent renewables in 12 years. Today, California is coal free and nuke free, generating 40 percent of electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. Wind and solar power are being added, often for less than four cents per kilowatt-hour. Renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage, microgrids, and software are enablers of the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

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Paris Climate Agreement Will be Ratified

Paris Climate Agreement Will be Ratified

The European Parliament approved ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement, taking us well past the threshold of nations and collective emissions needed. The agreement is not legally binding for 30 days. We are on a path to breathing cleaner air; our children are...

The Next Great Mobility Sensor

The Next Great Mobility Sensor

Distracted driving killed more than 3,000 people in the U.S. in 2013. Every year, more than one million people die from auto-related incidents around the world. We’ve all heard the statistics, and they are frightening. In an era where vehicles are rapidly becoming...

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Urban Innovator of the Week: Alex Gilliam

This profile was originally published by Urban Innovation Exchange in partnership with Meeting of the Minds and Kresge Foundation. For more stories of people changing cities, visit UIXCities.com and follow @UIXCities. Public Workshop started in Philadelphia in 2009,...

The Golden Age of Wastewater

Year-round fresh produce, daily farmer’s markets, chefs from every continent - it’s no wonder that the San Francisco Bay Area is famous for its food culture. Yet we rarely celebrate the other side of digestion. At its best, wastewater is an impolite, unavoidable...

The Secret to City Government Success in the Digital Era

In the 1500’s, England faced the threat of imminent invasion from the Spanish and the French. Sparsely populated and blanketed in fog, the British Isles were tempting targets for roaming armadas. An army could land on a coast and march inland before anybody could...

Urban Innovator of the Week: Gétro Jean-Claude

This profile was originally published by Urban Innovation Exchange in partnership with Meeting of the Minds and Kresge Foundation. For more stories of people changing cities, visit UIXCities.com and follow @UIXCities. Gétro Jean-Claude was born and raised in Haiti,...

Meeting of the Minds is made possible by the generous support of these organizations.

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