Innovation News

February 23, 2016



MASDAR CITY RISES OUT OF THE DESERT
Masdar City  is a planned community under construction in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  When it is completed, it will be the world’s first self-sustaining, zero-waste city.

EGYPT BUILDS NEW CITY FROM SCRATCH
The Egyptian Government has released an initial plan for a new capital city, some 31 miles east of Cairo. The $300 billion proposal would span 270 miles and house over 7 million residents.  

MUNICIPAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MODELS
Stephen Thompson, CEO of the Port Colborne Economic Development Corporation and City of Port Colborne Director of Economic Development, Tourism and Marketing, has conducted an analysis of delivery models for local economic development that can assist municipal councils in decision making.

POLICE IMPLEMENT NEW FINGERPRINT TECHNOLOGY
The Eden Police Department (North Carolina) has implemented new technology that enables officers to remotely identify people and potential suspects.  Learn more about the Mobile Fingerprint Identification.

CITY SCALE CLIMATE RESILIENCE
Cities around the world are confronting climate change risks, through large infrastructure projects, to social programs and policy initiatives based on downscaling climate models.  Learn more about the perspectives of Chief Resilience Officers in Durban, South Africa and Boulder, Colorado on innovative approaches to climate risk assessment.


NEW TORONTO AREA TRANSIT PLAN
Public consultations will begin on a proposed transit expansion plan for Toronto and surrounding municipalities. The plan reflects a network-based approach, which would align and integrate separate transit projects.

LOS ANGELES GEOHUB
The City of Los Angeles has launched a new open data visualization tool called GeoHub. GeoHub provides a searchable directory of over 500 city data sets accessible from a single data portal. Data is presented in the form of GIS maps.

2015 SURVEY OF U.S. MAYORS
The 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors has recently been released. The survey defines the key issues defined by mayors and the top priorities facing their cities.

CASE STUDIES ON PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLE NETWORKS
A recent report from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides an overview of principles for pedestrian and bicycle networks and highlights key projects reflecting connected, safe transportation choices.

NYC STREETCAR PLAN
New York City’s proposed Brooklyn-Queens waterfront streetcar connector has its critics, but manages to deliver increased mobility, economic development and cost benefits arising from new tax revenue generated by increased property values along the line.

LAS VEGAS LAUNCHES INNOVATION DISTRICT
The City of LAs Vegas has declared its downtown to be an “innovation district", enabling the development of policies and procedures to test emerging technologies. The city is considering building a controlled testing ground for transportation technology.

2016 FCM SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY AWARDS WINNERS
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has published case studies and videos from a range of the best local government leaders in the development of green infrastructure.

U.S. CITIES TRAVEL INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY
Learn more about key information technology initiatives in Los Angeles, Boston and Houston based on innovation and sophisticated data analytics, designed to increase both efficiency and safety in urban transportation.

SMART CITY CHALLENGE IDEAS
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge has received 77 municipal applications for a prize of $50 million, to be awarded in June 2016. Learn more about the submissions from applicant cities.

ROBOT HELPER IMPROVES BRIDGE SAFETY
A new climbing robot is transforming the way bridge inspections are carried out on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The robot, developed by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), can scale complex passageways that are too dangerous for humans.

LOS ANGELES APPROVES ANTI-HOMELESSNESS PLAN
City of Los Angeles and county officials have recently approved plans to get thousands homeless people off city streets.   The plan anticipates expenditures of $150 million over the next two years to implement strategies.

HOW SUSTAINABLE CITIES DRIVE BUSINESS GROWTH
Sustainable urban design, which creates improved quality of life in cities, can also be the basis for a range of economic benefits.  Learn more about how urban smart growth features relate to business location considerations.

NEWS ORLEANS PURSUES NEW WATER MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
After decades of focusing on pumping out flood water, New Orleans is now planning to alter the landscape of a key city neighbourhood to filter and retain stormwater rather than pump it away.  Learn more about city’s Gentilly Resilience District.

UK GOVERNMENT IN TALKS WITH GOOGLE ON DRIVERLESS CARS
Transport officials in London have confirmed that the UK Government is in talks with Google on driverless cars.  Google driverless technology has been tested in the U.S since 2009, but has never been tested outside the U.S.    

GOOGLE STARTUP TACKLES CONGESTION  
Urban Engines, a Google Ventures startup, is developing new software called “Space/Time Engine,” that aggregates real-time traffic data to feed into predictive models.  The software focuses on information about where and when traffic is congested.   

MUNICIPAL SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL PRACTICES
Learn more about a range of snow and ice removal policies and procedures in place for cities, towns and counties in Washington State, including examples of parking restrictions, sidewalk clearance requirements and environmental impacts.  

U.S FEDERAL DRONE GUIDELINES
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued new registration requirements for “unmanned aircraft” known as drones, as well as guidance to States and local governments on drone regulation.  
   
TORONTO’S “GREEN“ GARDINER PROPOSAL
City of Toronto staff have recently reviewed five proposals to reroute the eastern end of the city’s Gardiner Expressway, including a “Green Gardiner” proposal that would incorporate a long narrow park, acting as roof over the expressway.

GERMANY LAUNCHES ITS NATIONAL “BIKE AUTOBAHN”
Germany, the first country in the world to create a high-speed highway for automobiles, is one of a number of nations doing the same for bikes. The first stretch of its “bike autobahn” that will extend for 100 kilometers in the northwest has recently opened.  

THE ADVENT OF URBAN SKYSCRAPERS    
A new study by the Santa Fe Institute examines the connection between skyscrapers and cities.  A database of tall building characteristics derived from 12 North American cities was used to identify relationships between the size of cities and the height of buildings in the downtown cores.    

EUROPEAN CITIES TACKLE “NIGHT LIFE” ISSUES
The City of Amsterdam has appointed a “night mayor” to balance desire for a lively night life with demands for peace and quiet.  This office is tasked with managing issues among night businesses, residents and City Hall and the concept has spread to other cities in Europe.

TRACKING HOW LONDONERS COMMUTE
A detailed map of City of London (UK) commuter habits created by University College London, provides a street-by-street breakdown of how residents get to and from work.  The map enables area specific assessments of commuting patterns and systemic pressures to inform public transportation decisions.  

COPENHAGEN’S CHALLENGES     
The City of Copenhagen, recognized as the most livable and greenest city in the world, still faces growth, climate change and economic challenges.  Learn more about the city’s approaches to manage its future and maintain its international status.   

LINKING URBAN PLANNING AND PUBLIC HEALTH  
Dubuque, Iowa leadership in linking public health to urban planning https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/urban-planning-public-health-collaborating, suggests a transferable model for other cities.  The city has a comprehensive plan for considering mental health issues, has expanded parklands, improved walkability and promoted greener dwellings.  

SMART GREEN BUILDINGS
Learn more about ten recently completed projects that combine green design strategies with a range of computer technologies that enable buildings to respond to changing environmental conditions and occupant behavior.

Contact

Bruce McLeod

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TF 1.877.426.6527
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