Meeting of the Minds Blog Magazine, Vol. 1
We’re releasing a new tool this week that will help you get ready for Meeting of the Minds 2013 in Toronto.
Our blog here at CityMinded.org has grown incredibly in the last 6 months—hosting discussions from foundations, private sector leaders, independent thought leaders and event government agencies like USAID, HUD and the State Department.
As I talk with our bloggers and partners and others, though, I know that some of you would like to have more format options for our blog posts. “Can you send it to me in a PDF?” is a common request.
The answer is yes! At the end of each of our blog posts there is a link that says, “Click here to download a printable, PDF version of this article.” Clicking the link will automatically provide you with a printable, PDF version.
But what about other formats? We recently began releasing podcasts. We have monthly webinars. Of course we have our video (with transcripts) of previous Meeting of the Minds talks. We have photos from past events. For face-to-face time we organize monthly meetups in San Francisco and elsewhere.
Brand new this week, we’re releasing a PDF magazine that you can print or read on your mobile device (it looks great on an iPad). I gathered some of my favorite blog posts and created a 30-page PDF magazine that you can download and take with you. The magazine will give you a good idea of the kind of discussions that we have at Meeting of the Minds, as well as the kind of people that make up our community.
In Volume 1 we hear from thought leaders in the following topics:
- Government & entrepreneurship
- The future of work
- City infrastructure
- The internet of things
- Social equity
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Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
Data concerns are not going away. Data sharing and open data initiatives will likely become even more important as the transportation industry grows more interdependent among citizens, public agencies, cities, and private companies. In an internal context, de-identification of data allows data to be shared across an organization, allowing all users to access insights, and a common picture of demand and service performance across the network. This allows marketing, planners, and operations teams within transit agencies to access the same secure data when doing short term and long term planning. This also enables data sharing between agencies and transit operators which have adjacent service areas, and allows them to optimize timetables and typical transfer points. In an external context, de-identification allows for safe data sharing across different public, private, and community stakeholders, and lays the foundation for collaboration, interoperability, and common understanding, while putting privacy first.
I spoke last week with Krishna Desai from Cubic Transportation, and we discussed three big problems facing transportation, and the ways that Cubic is approaching these challenges:
1) If (or when) more workers return to traditional on-location jobs, but feel a lingering distrust of crowded spaces, people who can afford it may opt for private cars instead of using public transit for their commute. This will create a massive influx of cars on roads that were already crowded, and more financial woes for transit agencies already dealing with budget shortfalls. Krishna told me about a suite of optimization tools Cubic is deploying in places like Mexico and San Francisco to make public transit more efficient, more transparent, and, overall, more attractive to riders.
2) For the time being, though, we’re dealing with the opposite problem. How can transit agencies find ways to influence user behavior in a way that complies with social distancing and capacity requirements? How can you incentivize riders to wait for the next bus? (In a way that doesn’t alienate them forever – see #1). Cubic has deployed a loyalty/advertising program in Miami-Dade County that was originally intended to increase ridership, but is now being used to help control crowding and social distancing on transit.
3) Transportation infrastructure, in generally, was not built to accomodate 6-feet of separation between riders – or between workers. Little things like, for example, opening gates, requires workers to be closer than 6-feet to riders, and there are examples like that throughout every transit hub. Technology can help, but creating and implementing software/hardware solutions quickly and efficiently requires experience with innovation, deployment, maintenance and more. Cubic has a program called Project Rebound that shows the possibilities.
Advanced Urban Visioning offers a powerful tool for regions that are serious about achieving a major transformation in their sustainability and resilience. By clarifying what optimal transportation networks look like for a region, it can give planners and the public a better idea of what is possible. It inverts the traditional order of planning, ensuring that each mode can make the greatest possible contribution toward achieving future goals.
Advanced Urban Visioning doesn’t conflict with government-required planning processes; it precedes them. For example, the AUV process may identify the need for specialized infrastructure in a corridor, while the Alternatives Analysis process can now be used to determine the time-frame where such infrastructure becomes necessary given its role in a network.