Big Data, Automation, and the Future of Transportation

In recent years, a variety of forces (economic, environmental, and social) have quickly given rise to “shared mobility,” a collective of entrepreneurs and consumers leveraging technology to share transportation resources, save money, and generate capital. Bikesharing services, such as BCycle, and business-to-consumer carsharing services, such as Zipcar, have become part of a sociodemographic trend that has pushed shared mobility from the fringe to the mainstream. The role of shared mobility in the broader landscape of urban mobility has become a frequent topic of discussion. Shared transportation modes—such as bikesharing, carsharing, ridesharing, ridesourcing/transportation network companies (TNCs), and microtransit—are changing how people travel and are having a transformative effect on smart cities.

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Smart Cities and the Weather

A study by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 2008 found that the impact of routine weather events on the US economy equates annually to about 3.4% of the country’s GDP (about $485 billion). This excludes the impact of extreme weather events that cause damage and disruption – after all, even “ordinary” weather affects supply of and demand for many items, and the propensity of businesses and consumers to buy them. NCAR found that mining and agriculture are particularly sensitive to weather influences, with utilities and retail not far behind.

Many of these, disaster management included, are the focus of smart city innovations. Not surprisingly, therefore, as they seek to improve and optimize these systems, smart cities are beginning to understand the connection between weather and many of their goals.  A number of vendors (for example, IBM, Schneider Electric, and others) now offer weather data-driven services focused specifically on smart city interests.

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Decision Support Tools that Counter Uncertainty and Risk in Urban Settings

Urban Planning Today: Perception vs. Reality When the planning profession was still nascent in the 1950’s, well defined social needs and the desire to improve poor living conditions were the dominant basis for policy and regulation. By the time the 1970’s and 80’s...
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Invest in Resilience Before Disaster Strikes

Investing in at-risk communities before disaster strikes is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect residents and property while increasing their ability to weather the severe storms ahead. At Enterprise Community Partners, our Resilient Communities Initiative works nationwide to strengthen communities and equip residents so they are better prepared for, and able to respond to extreme weather events and other emergencies. We provide technical assistance, grant funding, research and analysis, and build innovative tools to support this goal.

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Unlocking Deep Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Unlocking Deep Energy Efficiency in Buildings

In the United States, buildings themselves, plus the plug loads of their tenants, use 70 percent of all electricity and account for 40 percent of all carbon emissions. At least half that power is wasted, due to inefficiencies in the ways those buildings are designed, built and operated.

Just over two years ago, the City of Seattle pioneered a new approach to incentivize energy efficiency in new and existing buildings. Known as the Metered Energy Efficiency Transaction Structure – or MEETS – the program turns a building into a revenue-generating “energy efficiency power plant” by measuring the energy it does not use, and paying an investor for the value of that energy.

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Zero-Net-Energy Schools

Zero-Net-Energy Schools

In the Marx Brothers comedy classic Duck Soup, Groucho as a nation’s president said, “Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can't make head nor tail out of it.” When it comes to zero-net-energy (ZNE)...

Urban Innovator of the Week: Pashon Murray

Urban Innovator of the Week: Pashon Murray

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. It has been over two years since Urban Innovation...

Driverless car revolution is coming

Driverless car revolution is coming

This is the second in a series entitled The Future of Mobility, a joint project of CommonWealth and Meeting of the Minds. Transition will be tricky, so planning needs to start now The connection between land use and transportation has been well-established, but it’s...

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Transformation of the Electric Grid

Five states top Grid Modernization Index About half of all new electricity generating capacity in the United States now comes from renewables such as wind energy and solar power; coal use is at a 30 year low. A modern grid is a priority as we shift from large dirty...

Urban Innovator of the Week: Jose Corona

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. Jose Corona, the Director of Equity &...

The Key to Green Cities and Mindsets: Densification

If there was any doubt in your mind about the onslaught of climate change to our survival on this planet, the Paris Agreement of 2015 provides strong consensus that the problem is very real. It demands the immediate and collective action of governments, the private...

10 Ways to Deliver Better Projects in Your Smart City

The world is watching - 10 Game Changing Characteristics Globally city managers are faced with an ever-increasing city population and a decrease in financial and human resources to deliver adequate services across the city region. The challenge of ensuring the city’s...

Urban Innovator of the Week: Devone Boggan

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. There is no denying that gun violence is a public...

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