FIVE US Cities Could Run Out of Water

Cape Town, South Africa came close, saved by a rainfall, from running out of water in early 2018.   Climate change brings water shortages to many areas in the Middle East and Africa.  America is not immune from water shortages.  Polluted water strikes closer to home with Flint, Michigan as an example.  In America population growth… Read More

What SMART Stuff Are Cities Buying Now?

The concept of “Smart Cities” has crossed the threshold of most US City and Town Halls.  But there are many different interpretations of what “SMART” might mean.  And there are more criteria for what is urgent, affordable and practical.  For those municipalities who may be wondering what others are investing in, Nick Schiffler has put… Read More

Court Says Citizens Can Sue Feds for Clean Water

A federal judge ruled on Friday (April 19, 2019) that residents of Flint, Michigan, can move forward with a lawsuit against the federal government regarding the city’s lack of clean drinking water. The government is not immune from legal action, ruled Judge Linda Parker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. … Read More

Arlington Continues Master Plan Discussions

The citizens of Arlington engaged in an active and well publicized discussion about all the elements of a proposed new town Master Plan.  These discussions took place in well attended public meetings held, primarily, at the Senior Center/ Central School’s main public meeting space.  They were held in a series of meetings, each meeting considering… Read More

ClimateNet Offers Hope for Managing Climate Change Future

Massive computing power using mammoth databases combines with cutting edge approaches born from Artificial Intelligence (AI) research.  In the capable hands of a team of scientists and mathematicians at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, new approaches to forecasting and managing climate change and major weather events are in development. The ClimateNet project will bring the power of… Read More

Russia Revitalizes Urban Spaces

from Charlemagne:  What a campaign to revive Russia’s urban spaces means for civil society,  Economist, 8-11-18 SOVIET SQUARE in Voronezh no longer looks especially Soviet. Children dart through a dancing fountain. BMX bikers barrel across new tiles. Grassy groves play home to picnicking teens. “It’s practically Spain,” gushes a pensioner. The newly reconstructed square is one… Read More

Pittsburgh: Built on Public-Private Partnerships

In 1994 when Tom Murphy became Mayor of Pittsburgh the city had been in decline for 50 years.  He looked at his assets:  300,000 residents (half of what it had been), thousands of acres of empty or underutilized land, a significantly below average cost of living index, Carnegie Mellon University, an entrepreneurial culture, a tradition… Read More

Elon Musk and the Boring Company

UPDATE (7/12/17): Elon Musk makes transportation news again.  (Note:  We don’t count Tesla under transportation.   It is a demonstration of battery power for the future.)  The Hyperloop lets us imagine true long distance rapid transit, moving sci fi to reality, letting us speed across the planet’s surface. According to a June 27 article by Nick Statt,… Read More

Procurement: Boston Story

Laura Melle, on the City of Boston Office of Technology team, was assigned to support the evolving departmental procurement process, provided the background information for this story.  The Office of Technology “inbeds” data oriented staff in key line departments to build support for and overcome the challenges to bringing these departments into “smart cities” status.… Read More

Procurement: Town of Arlington MA Story

Arlington is a “town” in the New England parlance of local government.   It has a Board of Selectmen instead of a city council and its chief legislative body, Town Meeting meets several days each spring,   to address major town issues, warrants and to pass the town budget.  The Town meeting opens each season with… Read More

Procurement: Kansas City MO Story

Kathy Garman and Cedric Rowan, KCMO employees working with procurement issues (11/15), provided most of the information and insights into new ways Kansas City is acquiring technology to enable it to develop into a leading 21st century smart city. City policy in Kansas City MO is very sensitive to the “digital divide” issue.    The city… Read More

Procurement: Philadelphia PA Story

Nick Susi, provided the background information for this story.  Nick previously worked in the Philadelphia Office of Information and Technology (OIT) and now works in the Procurement Dept., bringing with him to procurement a greater than usual appreciation for the complexities of buying 21st century ICT and digitally enhanced hardware and infrastructure using the traditional… Read More

Procurement: City’s Pre-Procurement Pathway

(Part of a series of articles prepared by Barbara Thornton for the Smart Cities Council.  The articles are intended to provide an overview to city, private, nonprofit and community based stakeholders who hope to move city operations into the 21st century but run into 19th and early 20th century procurement processes.  These are the processes… Read More

Plan It and They Will Build

Urban planners can take a page from the “Field of Dreams” movie’s playbook.  In the movie, Kevin Costner built a baseball diamond in a cornfield and his dreams came true.  Planners around the world are finding that this technique can work for reshaping cities, too. In the old days of “master planning” lots of night… Read More

Oregon Mayor Speaks on Trump, Cities, Climate Change

(from article by Carey L. Biron) WASHINGTON — Donald Drumpf’s surprise victory in the U. S. presidential election this week scrambled domestic and international calculations, with particularly notable questions looming about the potential impact on global action around climate change. The news broke just as the international community is gathering to discuss global warming for the… Read More

Planning for Open Space in an Urbanizing World

Cities around the world are exploding with new inhabitants and newly built structures.  The world population is growing at about 750 million people per decade.  That is the equivalent of adding 88 new New York Citys in 10 years.  By far the fastest growth, 80% of the growth, is happening on the edges of current… Read More

Sachs Defines Essential Infrastructure “Long Game”

Jeffrey Sachs recommends:  Rather than trying to deploy construction workers within the next 60 days, I propose that we envision the kind of built environment we want for the next 60 years. With a shared vision of America’s infrastructure goals, actually designing and building the new transport, energy, communications, and water systems will surely require… Read More

Map of Recent Urbanization Change in Europe

This new map was created by Germany’s BBSR, the country’s Federal Institute for Research onBuilding, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development.  It is the first ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities. The BBSR collected data between 2001 and 2011. While that might sound slightly outdated, these are actually the most up-to-date figures Europe has… Read More