Innovation News January 2015


VISUALIZING THE WORLD’S URBAN GROWTH
Recognizing the rate at which the world is urbanizing, Unicef has developed animated maps of the projected growth in urban populations between 1950 and 2050 in countries and megacities around the around the world.   

BEST GOVERNMENT WEBSITES IN 2014
Government Technology judged nearly 300 state, city and county websites based on their innovative qualities, usefulness, efficiency and economy.  Learn more about the winning websites for 2014.  

INTEGRATING URBAN AGRICULTURE
The emergence of the local food movement and industry, mirrors increasing awareness of the health and security benefits of locally grown produce, as well as the lower level of carbon emissions that result from reduced transportation.  A recent Urbanland article outlines ten projects where municipalities and entrepreneurs are working to integrate urban agricultural practices in cities.
 
PUTTING CRIME DATA ONLINE

An increasing number of police services are making data on crime patterns available to the public online through crime-mapping websites such as CrimeReports and RAIDS Online to help reduce neighbourhood criminal activity.

THE BENEFITS OF LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES
A recent SustainableCitiesCollective article examines genetic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors that can influence peoples’ health and relates these to specific community planning and development features that have positive impacts on personal health and quality of life.  

CANADA’S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR 2015
Macleans has recently published an article that summarizes some key factors that are likely to influence the Canadian economy, governments at all levels and households heading into 2015.

RETROFITTING DYING SUBURBAN MALLS
The City of Denver has been recognized as a leader in suburban mall retrofits. A recent Planetizen article  assesses three Denver examples of mall retrofits and the prospects for their success.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY INITIATIVES
The City of New York Vison Zero campaign and San Francisco’s version of the same campaign, both launched about one year ago, represent two distinct paths to pedestrian safety. Learn more about the results of these initiatives through the last year.

USING TECHNOLOGY TO BUILD URBAN RESILIENCE
Many cities are leveraging new technology to build their resilience capacities. Some current examples of innovative technology application demonstrate how resource allocations can be improved, communications strengthened and the quality of life can be improved.

SMALL URBAN SUSTAINABILITY
In small towns in the rural U.S., some examples of green initiatives are emerging, notwithstanding that such communities often have reduced staff capacity and financial resources. Learn more about how some small urban communities have focused and integrated their sustainability efforts related disaster recovery, energy efficiency, main street revival and new land use strategies.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
Dieppe, N.B. Fire Department to Use Drone

U.S. URBAN AGRICULTURE TO GROW IN 2015
Strong growth in urban agriculture through 2015 is expected in the U.S., propelled by more incentives by states and cities, a greater number of start-up farmers and increasing consumer demand.  Learn more      about some top trends in urban and sustainable agriculture in 2015.

COMPREHENSIVE URBAN WATER STRATEGY
The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has studied the U.S. coastline affected by Hurricane Sandy to develop a comprehensive urban water strategy http://www.archdaily.com/450236/resist-delay-store-discharge-oma-s-comprehensive-strategy-for-hoboken/. The approach can be integrated into built environments to manage water for both disasters and long term growth, mitigate the costs of flood insurance and deliver civic, cultural and recreational co-benefits.

STANDARDIZED METRICS FOR CITY PERFORMANCE
The Global City Indicators Facility  (GCIF) provides cities with a standardized system for data collection that enables broadly based city comparisons over time.  The GCIF has developed into a global network of over 250 cities in 78 countries focusing on indicators that reflect 20 themes related to city services and quality of life factors.   
 
HOUSING FOR AN AGING POPULATION

Providing quality housing and related services for an aging population is a challenge that confronts many jurisdictions around the world.  Learn more about some key approaches developed by housing providers that have application to a wide range of jurisdictions.    
 
TACTICAL URBANISM STRATEGIES

A 2014 exhibition designed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in collaboration with the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, demonstrated examples of tactical urbanism and new strategies for development in large cities, including Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York and Rio de Janeiro.     

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
Boston to Create Housing Innovation Lab

A NEW SHARED STREET IN CHICAGO                         
The City of Chicago is planning to start construction on a new shared street, where drivers, cyclists and pedestrians will all be equal.  There will be no sidewalks, crosswalks, curbs or lane markings that would distinguish amongst categories of traffic.      

DO INCENTIVES ATTRACT JOBS?      
A recent Brookings Institution article questions the value of U.S. state and local government incentives to attract new businesses and jobs and advocates five, smarter approaches to job creation in government jurisdictions.  

3.0 CITIES     
A report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, shows that all metro areas are projected to grow, with half of these areas to experience growth of more than 3 per cent, reflecting the emergence of Cities 3.0, where the city becomes the hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. Learn more about the critical components of 3.0 cities.  
   
MADRID TO BAN CARS IN CITY CENTRE  
The start of 2015 brings a new rule banning cars from circulating in central Madrid.  The measure is part of the city’s sustainable mobility plan, which seeks to reduce the share of daily trips by private vehicles from 29% to 23% by 2020.
   
PHILADELPHIA’S OPEN DATA EXPERIENCE        
A recent article published on NextCity, outlines the City of Philadelphia’s journey to implement the city’s Open Data Policy.  This policy marks a shift to greater local government transparency that is emerging across many municipal jurisdictions and the article outlines Philadelphia’s specific challenges and practical considerations in implementing the magnitude of change required.     
                                                                                             
OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO MUNICIPAL INNOVATION
City Accelerator at Governing, has released a guide  developed to enable cities to build durable practices and cultures of innovation. The guide contains practical actions that local government officials can adapt and adopt.

NEW APPROACHES TO GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Advanced analytics, evidence-based budgeting and behavioural economics could transform how public programs can be evaluated designed to create greater value. Learn more about how these developments are impacting government performance.

SINGLE PAYMENT SYSTEMS AND URBAN TRANSIT
The Future Foundation has undertaken research to assess global perspectives on reforming transit payment systems to encourage the use of public transit networks and found that a single payment system has significant benefits and increased benefits when combined with flexible pricing to spread passenger loads through the day.

THE EMERGENCE OF TECH CITIES
Technology companies are currently choosing to locate in city centres rather in Silicon Valley. Learn more about this trend and its impacts on urban economic development and policy.

TEARING DOWN URBAN HIGHWAYS
The 1950s and 1960s witnessed significant highway expansion into urban cores, which led to subsequent negative impacts on the social and economic value of the inner city. Now key cities are taking initiatives to remove these roads, designed to increase investment, property values and neighbourhood quality.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN NEW YORK CITY
The City of New York “Housing New York" has been called the most ambitious municipal housing initiative in U.S. history. The plan provides new tools and incentives with the goal of enabling the private sector to build at least one half of the new affordable housing units that are required.

CREATIVE WAYS TO FUND PARKS
Many innovative municipal officials and advocates are thinking creatively about new ways to fund city parks as this priority competes with others in restrained municipal budgets. Learn more about some key U.S. local government initiatives that enable park sustainability.

BEST PERFORMING U.S. CITIES IN 2014
The recent 2014 edition of the "Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities" assesses economic growth measures in U.S. metropolitan areas and ranks urban economic recovery. The best performers were urban areas with energy centres and technology hubs.

RULES FOR SUSTAINABLE URBANISM
The German City of Freiburg Charter contains 12 principles to guide sustainable urban planning and development. These principles are grouped into spatial, content and process categories.

THE ROLE OF MICRO UNITS
Recent research from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) contends that residential micro units, typically ranging from 250 to 400 square feet in size, have a significant appeal to urban dwellers in high cost housing markets. Learn more about the key findings of the Macro View on Micro Units report.

COMPARING TRANSIT INVESTMENTS IN 2015
The Transport Politic has released its annual compilation of proposed investments by North American jurisdictions in new transit projects.  Learn more about the pace of transit spending in 2015 and the details of some key transit projects.
   
PROJECTS INCORPORATING URBAN AGRICULTURE
A recent Urbanland (ULI) article outlines some key projects completed through the past five years, that produce locally grown food to lower carbon emissions and enhance food security.
   
PERSPECTIVES ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Perspectives on affordable housing are often part of local discussions on new residential development projects.  Learn more about some commonly held views on affordable housing.
 
HOW WILL DRONES IMPACT URBAN LANDSCAPES?
Emerging drone technology is likely to have an effect not only on the airspace over urban areas, but also on urban project design, site analysis, land use regulation and construction. These developments will compel city planners to expand their focus from ground level circulation patterns to those above city streets.  
 
ASSESSING THE UTILITY OF CIVIC PLATFORMS
Online civic platforms are emerging as important tools to leverage broadly based input and intelligence to help solve local policy and planning issues.  A wide range of civic platform models is available to local governments to facilitate citizen input.
   
CITIES WHERE GOOD PLANNING MADE A DIFFERENCE     
The Royal Town Planning Institute has recently identified project developments from across the UK that reflect local planning innovation, as well as successful local planning processes able to  respond to a range of local challenges.   
 
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
Oakville First To Achieve 3RCertifed Status for Town Hall 

TOP PLANNING TRENDS IN 2014
Planetizen has recently published an article on recurring themes in the 2014 planning discussion on the website.  The article lists and links to popular tags by the number of references and pageviews and most popular posts by U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

THE BEST IDEAS FOR SUSTAINABLE CITIES IN 2014
The This Big City website has posted their ten most popular articles from 2014, covering topics such as gentrification, Google Buses, successful urban farming and innovative sustainability solutions among other matters.

PREDICTIONS FOR 2015 POLICING CHANGES
Through 2013 and 2014 a range of U.S. municipalities experimented with new strategies and tactics in providing police services. These innovative approaches reflect technology developments, new police leadership and recruitment models and crime fighting tactics that could become used more broadly by cities in 2015.

THE NEXT GENERATION OF SMART CITIES
Industrial analysts HIS, predicts that there will be 88 cities by 2025 (up from the current number of 21) that qualify as smart cities within the general sustainable, open data/governance and integrated ICT criteria that have been identified.  Learn more about some new smart city contenders.
    
FOUR BIG DATA PROJECTS CHANGING U.S. CITIES
Big data projects in key U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco dealing with traffic, utilities and services and public safety are likely to lead to improvements in efficiencies and effectiveness, that are transferable to a range of other cities.     

GOVERNMENT 2020
A U.S. research team has recently examined economic, technological, demographic and societal shifts that appear most likely to have impacts on the future of government.  Learn more about these major trends that could transform and reshape government.

Contact

Bruce McLeod

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