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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A Book Review of New York: 2140 A Novel

A Book Review of New York: 2140 A Novel

Up in floating cloud villages is where many of the world’s inhabitants live after coastlines are submerged under 58 feet of water. This is a book about the future written with the benefit of hindsight. We can predict, with a high degree of certainty, that: melting ice from Greenland and Antarctica, the warming oceans, and subsiding coastlines, will all contribute to rising sea levels. There is an inevitability to sea level rise that is palpable today. This is no ordinary work of fiction, but rather a novel set within an accurate scientific forecast. In 2140, Stanley Robinson does what a generation of environmental advocacy has failed to do: make climate change personal.

Boston Is Emerging as a Center for Mobility Innovation

Boston Is Emerging as a Center for Mobility Innovation

This is the fifth in a series entitled The Future of Mobility, a joint project of CommonWealth and Meeting of the Minds. It goes without saying that mobility - the movement of people and goods - is an incredibly hot space. Start-ups are cropping up across the entire...

Urban Revitalisation in Middle East Cities

Urban Revitalisation in Middle East Cities

Over the past fifty years, development in the rapidly-growing cities of the Arabian Gulf has been based primarily on ‘greenfield’ development. Recently; however, investment is turning towards revitalization of existing urban areas. The drivers for this shift vary,...

Best States to add Solar Power and Wind Energy

Best States to add Solar Power and Wind Energy

A massive 16 GW of renewable energy (RE) was installed in the United States in 2016, adding more new electricity generation than from coal, nuclear, and natural gas combined. This growth in renewables was driven by commercial and industrial (C&I) users like...

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San Jose Tackles Challenge of Digital Equity

As the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the “center of the universe” for innovation and disruptive technologies powered by the Internet economy. The San José metro area is the most connected region in the United States according to the 2015 American Communities...

In India, training the next generation of urbanists

Nidhi Batra, a Delhi-based urban development practitioner, was scrolling through Facebook when an ad caught her attention. It was for the Urban Action School in Hyderabad, a new 21-day learning program that was promoting a multi-disciplinary, grassroots approach to...

Why Cities Should Operate Their Own Top Level Domains

When we think of destinations on the Internet, we think of web addresses that often end in “.com” or “.net” or even “.us”. These strings to the right of the dot are called “top level domains” (TLDs) and until recently the choices of available TLDs was limited. There...

Released today: Meeting of the Minds Annual Report

We are excited to release our 2016 Annual Report with results from all our year-round programming. I think you will find the Annual Report helpful as you think about Meeting of the Minds' impact in 2016 and how to engage with the Meeting of the Minds global leadership...

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

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