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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The people power behind Mexico City’s new constitution

The people power behind Mexico City’s new constitution

By Gregory Scruggs MEXICO CITY, Mexico — When you think about people drafting a constitution, it might conjure a bunch of white statesmen in powdered wigs. Francisco Fontano Patán doesn’t fit that description. Editors note: This article first appeared in Citiscope.org...

What, Exactly, is a Smart City?

What, Exactly, is a Smart City?

With all the interest around the world in smart cities, I had naively supposed that there was a ready definition of what a smart city actually is, that I could at least use, for example, to differentiate one from a “normal”, or even “stupid”, city. Certainly, as...

Smart Technology & Ethics

Smart Technology & Ethics

How would you feel if your Autonomous Vehicle decided it was best for you to die? The June 23, 2016 edition of Science magazine, a prestigious journal of general science including in recent years the science of cities, carries an article entitled "The social dilemma...

Good NEWS for our Renewable Energy Future

Good NEWS for our Renewable Energy Future

Our future is full of good NEWS: net zero, electric mobility, wind power,and solar energy. Net Zero Net-zero-energy buildings, campuses, and cities are the future. They are so efficient than in a year they generate as much renewable energy as their total energy...

A Framework For Building a Sustainable Mobility System

A Framework For Building a Sustainable Mobility System

An Auto-Centric Century Gives Way to A Sustainable Mobility Paradigm When the ground breaking Ford Model T first appeared in late 1908, it marked the beginning of what would quickly become a global auto-centric society. Advances in technology and manufacturing mass...

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When Limits Fuel Innovation

How a small-scale pitch competition with fired up 11 urban universities His Shark Tank-style pitch for investment was almost done. Neville Pinto, then dean of the J.B. Speed College of Engineering at the University of Louisville, had carved his presentation down to...

Urban Innovator of the Week: Jerry Paffendorf

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. Detroit's infamous $500 houses have become the...

Five Nations Control our Climate and Future

The nations of the world concluded the Paris Summit 2015 with global goals and with plans to lower emissions in their individual nations. Five major emitters will control our future by how well or poorly they implement energy efficiency, strong growth of renewable...

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