Why Miami’s Public Works & Transit Department Merger is a Game-Changer
Miami-Dade County recently announced that the Miami –Dade Public Works Department and Miami-Dade Transit Department merged into one new department: The Department of Public Works and Transportation. (DTPW). This bold move by County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is a game-changer for Miami as it transitions to the innovation economy for the following reasons:
One procurement process between two major departments in Smart-Cities development makes it easier for entrepreneurs to build solutions.
In developing Smart-Cities solutions to mitigate inequity in the innovation economy, the single procurement allows for solutions to address both transportation and public works problems in a unified way- allowing for a holistic approach to the development of Smart-Cities technology. One contract between multiple groups spearheads the civic technology ecosystem and ends the current gaps between departments and the private sector.
The door is wide open for Smart Cities, ioT, and other disruptive solutions.
New technologies do not have to create siloed solutions for separate departments and worry about integrating with unknown vendors. Reducing the number of vendors needed to contract for each piece of technology creates an infrastructure that produces a better citizen experience and opens the door for entrepreneurs to create solutions that can actually have impact. Internally, IT departments have a more centralized operation.
We will actually solve the mobility issue.
Transit is now Public Works and Transportation. This semantic change is important. The urban mobility issue is not just about new trains or focusing on one transit platform. The change promotes multi-modal transportation solutions, resilient urban planning and eliminating inequality on a holistic level: urban mobility is an economic issue, tied to more than just one mode of transportation.
Climate change is being addressed.
By taking two separate departments and merging them into one, the government can now more quickly and easily fund solutions that will help them better understand their operations, leading to data-driven, cost saving and environmentally friendly alterations to public transportation routes, frequencies, traffic flow/management, garbage pickup, water and waste management, and emergency services. Smarter city management and planning reduces carbon emissions. Furthermore, reducing the barriers for entrepreneurs to innovate helps our environment in the long run by strengthening private public partnerships to address problems holistically in less time.
Overall, the merger between Public Works and Transit into Public Works and Transportation is a small move with big game-changing impact for Miami-Dade County’s future as a smart, equitable, and resilient economy.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.
Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
A new toolkit has been developed to help businesses think through strategies to decrease mobility barriers to the workplace, which reduces turnover. When workers can reliably get to work regardless of their personal circumstances, it provides employment stability and the opportunity to build wealth. It’s a win-win. Developed through a partnership between Metropolitan Planning Council and a pro bono Boston Consulting Group team, the toolkit includes slide decks, an overview report, customizable templates, a cost calculator, and instructional videos walking a company through the thought process of establishing a baseline situation, evaluating and selecting a solution, and standing up a program.
Depending on the employer’s location and employees’ needs, solutions may range from helping with last-mile transportation to the transit system, to developing on-demand vanpools, to establishing in-house carpool matching systems. The ROI calculator gives employers the ability to determine the break-even cost—the subsidy amount a company can manage without hurting the bottom line.
Housing that is affordable to low-income residents is often substandard and suffering from deferred maintenance, exposing residents to poor air quality and high energy bills. This situation can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory health issues, and siphon scarce dollars from higher value items like more nutritious food, health care, or education. Providing safe, decent, affordable, and healthy housing is one way to address historic inequities in community investment. Engaging with affordable housing and other types of community benefit projects is an important first step toward fully integrating equity into the green building process. In creating a framework for going deeper on equity, our new book, the Blueprint for Affordable Housing (Island Press 2020), starts with the Convention on Human Rights and the fundamental right to housing.
I caught up recently with Sarah Charlton who is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
The research she is leading, located in both Johannesburg, South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique, looks at the interface between the mobility use by residents and transportation investments by the state. The question guiding her research is “are ordinary households using the transport modes that the government is investing in and prioritizing?” The research is a partnership between two universities across two countries and two cities.
Sarah reflects on research during the pandemic across languages, countries, histories and cultures.