Economy

Innovative Financing for Cities: Pay for Results, Not Process

The Environmental Impact Bond. It can be used to finance green infrastructure and similar resiliency-oriented projects, which not only protect cities against flooding and pollution, but also create jobs and green underserved neighborhoods. The return to investors of these projects is based on the extent to which the projects produce results; such as the amount of stormwater diverted from flowing into nearby rivers.

4 Tested Techniques to Catalyze Small Town Redevelopment

Driving into a town with a boarded-up Main Street or a row of abandoned factories make it look like the community has been the victim of a destructive economic process. In truth, the devastation that is apparent on the surface is really a symptom of deeper social and institutional problems that have been going on for a very long time. I have four strategies for you to make your rural redevelopment projects successful.

Finding, Measuring, and Addressing Urban Equity

Opportunity is the set of circumstances and neighborhood characteristics that make it possible for people to achieve their goals, no matter their starting point. Any serious attempt to define, measure, and expand opportunity must include both the outcomes people achieve, such as their educational attainment, health, and income, and the pathways that affect the attainment of those outcomes, like quality schools, convenient transit, and access to healthy foods.

5 Reasons for Cities to Value their Downtowns

“Downtowns have an important and unique role in economic and social development for their cities and create a critical mass of activities where commercial, cultural, and civic activities are concentrated. This concentration facilitates business, learning, and cultural exchange.” – The International Downtown Association

Six Degrees of Acquisition: How to Improve Public Procurement

It is time to start compiling our information, experiences, and results in easy to share formats for our peers in cities, towns, and counties around the world to see and learn — in consumable volumes, at convenient times. Using the power of digital platforms and the availability of public data sets, governments can connect with others who are tackling the same issues. We must harness the fact that we are less than six degrees away from a successful acquisition.

Dates and Deliverables from Blockchain

It’s easy to say that blockchain is the future, but it’s been observed that people who describe the future are merely futurists. “Those who can tell when a technology will reach the market? We call them Billionaires.” Can we say anything useful, and even slightly rigorous, about when this will matter to a larger group than technology’s chattering classes?

Targeted Urban Economic Growth Will Improve the Economy

What is it about cities that makes them so influential, and what makes some urban centers grow faster than others? If we find that out, we can identify the best strategies for investing in our cities. Professor Mario Polèse has proposed five urban economics principles that affect a city’s outcomes.

Closing the Workforce Equity Gap with Accessible Online Education

Online learning is not a complete solution to a complex problem, but it is a powerful mechanism for transforming the learning experience to improve results, and for potentially transforming institutions that have been slow to reorient programs for student success.

California Governor, Jerry Brown, has proposed a statewide online college, with the other innovations embedded in the design, that could be essential infrastructure for Californians navigating more dynamic economies.

Pittsburgh: From Steel to Sustainable

On June 1, 2017, President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Accord, a non-binding climate agreement with 195 nations. Trump stated that the agreement blocked development of clean coal. That is not true. What is true is that the industry has promoted “clean coal” for one hundred years without delivering, costing US taxpayers tens of billions.

Trump said, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto was quick to respond.

Spotlight on Legacy Cities, Large and Small

From Gary, Indiana, to Lowell, Massachusetts, smaller post-industrial cities are taking strategic steps to regenerate. They have a chance to follow their larger rebounding counterparts like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, by building on downtowns, capitalizing on a unique sense of place, and focusing on workforce development.

Impact Investing for Smart Cities

The impact of new technologies won’t be measured in social media “likes” or page views like before, they’ll be measured in lives saved and children fed; parents educated and renewable megawatts generated. Technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, and robotics are simultaneously coming into their own. Each will be as important as the waves that came before, but when you stitch them together, you get game changers like self-driving cars or security-providing drones.

Mid-Sized Cities are the Future of Cities, Here are Three Reasons Why

As the plight of rural America continues, creating regional solutions that connect rural areas with their urban neighbors is more critical than ever. Because mid-sized metros have lower barriers to entry for new firms, more affordable cost of living, closer cultural ties to rural areas and robust (but not daunting) business and population thresholds, these cities provide the perfect testing environments for improving, creating and developing university-industry partnerships, supply chains and labor markets to connect rural and urban areas.