Governance

Fostering Trust by Reimagining our Shared Public Spaces

Akron Civic Commons launched in 2016 as a demonstration project of Reimagining the Civic Commons. After selecting Summit Lake as one of the sites for reinvestment, we immediately recognized that one of the greatest challenges to the work was overcoming decades of broken promises. There was a legacy of things being done to the community, not with them, and a healthy skepticism and mistrust of government and community organizations. If we wanted to do this work, it was imperative that we restore trust as part of the process.

Government Transparency is Key to Valuable Community Partnerships

The Sunlight Foundation is investigating how open data can inspire community action around issues that matter to residents.

How to Create Successful Distributed Generation Programs

Market rules and regulations must be clear, simple, and visible to all market participants. They should allow for fair competition and for reasonable returns on investment. This way, sellers and buyers are encouraged to make investments.

Building Climate Resilience in America’s Smaller Cities and Towns

The work of transitioning to a carbon neutral global civilization requires that our next generation of leaders looks to, and invests in, the future. By working right now to build climate resilience across the U.S. in small and mid-sized cities, we will not only protect our families and communities in the near-term, we will protect our capacity to do the work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the long-term.

Looking Beyond Borders: The Reality of Migration in Cities

Current mediatised depictions of the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ would have us place this phenomenon in a border fence, raft on the sea or at a makeshift camp. However, this is only the beginning of the story. Paradoxically, some people risk it all in treacherous...

Mayors May Hold the Keys to Climate Adaptation

Mayors control many of the powers necessary to address climate change. Research from C40 shows that Mayors control the key sectors which influence the mitigation of carbon emissions and adaptation to climate impacts from transportation and building codes to waste. These areas represent the key sectors for emissions reductions in cities.

8 Smart Cities Lessons from the Military

Many of the techniques that enabled this evolution to take place were not learned in northern California. For me, Smart City concepts originated in muddy holes, sandstorms and military classrooms around the world. Functional Smart City use cases originated in the cabs of Public Works trucks and at water treatment plants and were articulated by City employees with decades of civil service experience, not a coding background. Truly smart evolutions grow out of solving real problems for real people based on real experiences.

Economic & Environmental Challenges Across the Interstate 10 Region

Ten Across is designed to accomplish two things: first, to represent the world as it is in all of its complexity and nuance and, second, to imagine alternatives to the present trajectory.

How Measuring Resource Use Can Lead to Policy Change

Analysis and policy recommendations stemming from the City Footprinting Project will strive for territorial cohesion and equity. They will also aim at developing public policy instruments to preserve and improve the natural capital of each municipality and strengthen the sustainable management of the landscape and of natural resources.

4 Ways Civic Organizations Can Use Media to Build Trust

In this climate of distrust, we conducted a study to learn how activists and civic institutions are leveraging media and digital technology to rebuild and reimagine new approaches to civic discourse and action. Through our conversations with over 40 practitioners in Boston, Chicago, and Oakland, we provide a way of identifying and evaluating media and technology designed to facilitate democratic process.
We spoke to people in a variety of civic organizations (everything from government, arts, to community journalism), who were grappling with the challenge of using new media and technology to engage, or connect with the publics they serve.  Among these practitioners, we saw that their work reflected an ethic of care, an essential part of citizenship that orients people towards an understanding that citizenship is the practice of how we work with others to take care of the world we live in.

How Not to Shoot Yourself in the Foot: Smart Planning and P3s

When community leaders consider investments in sustainability, resilience, and smart infrastructure, they face a dilemma. Immediate priorities drive a focus on meeting short-term needs, but strategic objectives often require a big-picture outlook. Illustrative...

Finding Municipal Partners for Emerging Tech: Stratford, Ontario, Ready to Experiment

After years of laying the proverbial groundwork with a fibre network, citywide Wi-Fi mesh network, four-acre Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) test facility and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) rollout, Stratford, Ontario, is a small city with plans to stay on the forefront with 5G upgrades and public-private partnerships.