Society

A large focus area that includes health, community, social equity, education, arts & culture, and homelessness.

Observations & Predictions for Cities Based on Three Revolutions

Mobility could get much better or it could get worse. Planning, policy, and pricing will make the difference. Done well, we will have fast mobility powered with renewable energy as we travel connected cities on high-speed rail, then fast commuter rail and electric buses, with last mile services that include ride-hailing AV-EV shuttles, cars, bikes and safer walking.

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

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.

Four Traffic Safety Solutions Implementable Now

On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. It was a senseless act of violence. On September 12, 2001, 100 more people were killed at dozens of locations...

How to innovate in Smart Cities with AI

I envision a blended “future of work” that includes automation and augmentation — with the latter in the form of “decision support” tools that speed up and improve human performance, rather than compete with it. Computers are good at computing, surfacing potential decisions – and humans are good at context, or understanding the situational environment. When these two attributes are combined, it results in good judgement.

Using Design to Promote Health: 4 Tips to get You Started

Four years ago, after recognizing this expansive definition of health, we began to explore the research connecting design with social and civic life. Fresh off the press, CfAD has just published the Assembly: Civic Design Guidelines as a practical and inspiring playbook to empower a diverse cross-section of implementers to use design to support civic life.

Strategies for Sustainable Food Systems in Smart Cities

In addition to the needs on the entrepreneurship side, it also became readily apparent that the urban farming industry is siloed and frequently disconnected from the outside world. To address this we have created workshops and conferences that focus on bringing people of diverse backgrounds together and introducing urban agriculture to a wider audience than just ag-tech entrepreneurs.

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.

Improving Access to Urban Trails

The benefit of parks and trails is greatest for those who live closest to these resources, and a disparity in access can have significant health, social, and economic implications, while also exacerbating environmental justice concerns in communities.

Power Struggle for Aggressive Urban Renewable Energy Goals

Reaching 100 percent renewables takes political courage. California puts a price on carbon. Minneapolis facilitates private investment in community solar. Texas ends utility monopoly power with an open market.

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...

Planning Public Spaces to Drive Health Equity

The social and environmental factors that influence our health do not play out in a linear way—they interact with and affect each other. We are each the product of our cumulative experience, and our health is the product of our cumulative exposures over a lifetime. For that reason, we sought to provide a holistic model for individual and community health and well-being.