7 Ways for Cities to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is a blight in our cities and landscapes and is harming our rivers and oceans. Experts estimate that 300,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste from the United States (U.S.) pollute the ocean every year, which is about 65 dump trucks of plastic waste per...

3 Guidelines for Prioritizing Healthy Communities in Urban Planning

Upstream intervention, a widely known public health concept, is the idea of taking preventive actions that would steer away from potential detrimental health effects such as chronic diseases, injuries, and premature death. To put it in simple terms, all things being equal, staying physically active, eating healthy foods, drinking clean water and breathing clean air, can prevent a whole host of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, heart and lung diseases and cancer. Upstream intervention can be expressed as enacting policies to ensure access to a clean and complete environment of health.

5 Things to Remember When Building a Smart City Business Case

Emerging technologies provide cities with a unique opportunity to both improve efficiency and better meet citizen and resident expectations. Managing competing demands for resources requires an understanding of the affected stakeholders and the relative economic and social impacts.

The California Roadmap to a Carbon Free Future for the Built Environment

We are on the path to obtain all of California’s electricity from carbon-free resources by 2045. This transition makes it possible for the built environment to achieve carbon neutrality by converting systems that are currently powered by fossil fuels to already available technologies powered by electricity.Decarbonizing other fuel sources is much more complicated and costly. There is a concerted effort to replace natural gas with renewable biogas and captured methane from landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, and dairies, but these sources cannot fully serve our current and future needs. As a result, we must pursue all-electric buildings to achieve meaningful decarbonization of the built environment.

Making Cities Work for Every Body

Making Cities Work for Every Body

When we first approached business owners about their interest in getting a ramp we were offering the them for a fee to cover some of our costs. But even at $50 most people weren’t interested. Some business owners told us that they don’t need a ramp because they don’t have any customers that use wheelchairs! Ha! So we had to figure out a different approach. We pulled together some volunteers, got some donated building materials, and went back with an offer of a free ramp.

Fostering Trust by Reimagining our Shared Public Spaces

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.

Key Lessons Learned in the Quest to Re-green Chicago

Key Lessons Learned in the Quest to Re-green Chicago

The data we have gathered about trees in this region are powerful, but are mostly meaningful because they are in fine enough in detail to be applicable at a local scale. We spent our first few years gathering data so we could identify solutions based on need and not speculation.

10 Ways Portland is Addressing Housing Issues

10 Ways Portland is Addressing Housing Issues

Here are 10 ways Portland is tackling housing—along a spectrum from homelessness to homeownership, and creating affordable solutions along that spectrum. We have focused our efforts on leveraging funding sources, and maximizing strategic investment opportunities.

Better Urban Living Through Parking Solutions

Better Urban Living Through Parking Solutions

Cities and private parking owners can use parking analytics to create policies and rates, adapting them to changing conditions or shifts in demand. Parking analytics help managers better understand pricing and maximize revenue in different parts of the city. This can also be adjusted for special events or if new businesses move into a location.

Examining the Effects of Online Shopping on Last-Mile Freight

Featuring Dr. Alison Conway

In anticipation of tomorrow’s live webinar, we’ve spoken with Dr. Alison Conway regarding her research of last-mile freight issues in New York City. If you’re curious about what we’re going to discuss with Dr. Conway in tomorrow’s webinar, read on to today’s blog post and learn about how online shopping and on-demand delivery are affecting the streets and traffic patterns of New York City through delivery vehicles and issues of curb space zoning. Dr. Conway sheds light on the daily impacts to our cities from our online shopping habits, and talks about how we can change perceptions and policies to make progress.

3 Myths About Climate Adaptation Work

Urban areas are certainly important, but not exclusively so. Large swaths of population and economy reside in America’s suburbs, exurbs, and rural communities – each of which faces unique challenges that require tailored approaches. Americans outside urban areas not only recognize the impacts of climate change, they are driving unique adaptation approaches.

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?

How to Design a Successful Open Data Program

Medellín is special in that established local companies, NGOs, startups, students, and private citizens are all extremely dedicated to making their city a better place. It is part of the reason the city has been able to make so much social progress in such a short period of time. Thus, the Consejo de Datos Medellín (The Data Council Medellín) was born. Made up of representatives from the public sector, the city’s largest companies like Bancolombia and Sura, universities like UPB and EAFIT, startups, civic tech groups, and engaged citizens, the Consejo is a forum for open dialog about the city’s challenges, as well as a launching pad for data-driven projects that wouldn’t be possible without collaboration and input from all its members. 

Smart Regions: 5 Examples of Successful Digitalization Strategies

Cities have been the focal point for innovation and digitalization strategies for over a decade. From broadband deployment strategies, smart city pilots, projects and programs, to intelligent urban mobility schemes or open data initiatives: cities have led the way. Innovation agendas cannot and must not stop at city limits, however. Smart regional approaches represent the best recipe for digital inclusion, the scaling of relevant innovations, and accessibility to opportunity for all. Five points as to why we must and should consider smart region strategies for our communities.

Backcasting Smart City Futures

In order to construct stories of the future, one should first identify the critical variables that could shape the world in the decades to come. Extrapolating from these drivers, one often ends up with two or more flexible scenarios that accommodate a variety of possibilities. This helps decision makers broaden their perspective on how a given goal can be reached.

Artificial Intelligence for Roadway Maintenance

The growing autonomous vehicle fleet, together with countless truck and passenger vehicle fleets on the road now, will be instrumental in passively – read inexpensively – gathering timely, precise, and local data that is so essential to better roads. With success, the centuries old process of manual inspection will be replaced with a more cost-effective methods for monitoring roads.

Scalable Water Management Solutions for Developed & Developing Cities

Changing the paradigm from traditional technocratic solutions to those that are more agile, adaptable, and affordable is the key for the future. Although the water sector is conservative by nature, it needs innovation to challenge the status quo and that can overcome the constraints of existing infrastructure, governance, and prior decisions. It’s easy to put blame on governments, which are working hard and dealing at high volume to supply the demand of constituents. Citizens also must change their habits and tastes in order to make change work.

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