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 While that might sound slightly outdated, these are actually the most up-to-date figures Europe has… Read More

San Jose’s City Vision: Smartest City in US by 2020

According to Toronto Mayor John Tory, “more than half of the USA’s famous Unicorn companies (companies valued at over $1Billion) have been created by immigrants.”  At a recent City Age conference in San Francisco, Tory described his effort to replicate that success by mixing immigrants in Canada and a strong urban corridor that explicitly supported… Read More

Tax Payer Money Helps Citizen Engagement Software Evolve Faster

If Boss Tweed could see us now!  City living isn’t what it used to be thanks to new software in cities that is built to inform, engage and satisfy citizens. An explosion of new software for use by cities and by citizens will, where the software is used, eventually improve the efficiency of services and… Read More

Most City Officials Believe In But Don’t Understand Transformational Concept of ‘SMART CITY’

More than 90 percent of recently surveyed government and municipal respondents said they view smart city initiatives as transformational with the potential for long-term positive impacts on cities globally. Yet, more than half of respondents say their organization does not really understand the smart city concept. What makes a smart city, how are they planned,… Read More

Europe Moves Forward On Software Platform Idea To Make Cities Smart

Asset Stewardship has long advocated a basic “platform” approach for municipalities entering the digital age.  A platform or framework approach allows data to be gathered across departments to do predictive analysis for the city’s needs and to work more effectively on behalf of the citizens shared by multiple city departments.  According to a recent article… Read More

Needed: An “Academy Awards” for Cities

America needs a National Urban Policy Summit. Kevyn Orr is an inspiring fellow.  And, as the Emergency Manager for the City of Detroit, overseeing the city’s bankruptcy process, he knows a thing or two about cities.  In a recent forum at Harvard University, he suggested the country is way overdue for a close look at what… Read More

Data Privacy, Cybersecurity: What Do People Want From Government?

 “The data collected, saved, utilized, and disseminated from  public institutions is an essential part of government’s backbone. But at the same time, the government must be good stewards of the data. It’s  government’s job to secure constituents’ data.” (from an article by Mariah Bastin, GovLoop,  November 12, 2015) “But with great data collection comes even greater responsibility.… Read More

2015 Digital Cities: Winners Experiment with Forward-Thinking Tech Projects

 “The 2015 Digital Cities Survey results are in. Dozens of cities were selected by a judging panel at the Center for Digital Government as the most strategic, efficient and innovative guardians of public-sector tech in the nation. The top-ranked cities will received an award in recognition of their achievements on Nov. 5 at the annual National… Read More

Antiquated Procurement Process Blocks Cities from Digital Age

From the perspective of a city trying to move operations into the digital age, software often seems overpriced, inflexible, and more complicated than flying a jet, with no clear measurable return on investment either in cost savings or improved service delivery.  From the perspective of the software provider who is big enough and smart enough… Read More

Infrastructure: John Oliver Explains it All (HBO)

So you don’t think infrastructure can be fun? Watch comedian John Oliver explain its intricate, critically important, hilarious fascinations in this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpzvaqypav8 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Infrastructure (HBO) Infrastructure investment will save lives.   Also, from:  CEO FORUM GROUP: “Infrastructure refers to the large-scale public systems, services, and facilities of a country… Read More

Global City Challenge 2016 Registration

Initial teambuilding workshops for the next round of the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) will take place November 12-13, 2015, at NIST’s Gaithersburg, Md., campus. Registration for the workshop is open. Please use this link to register:http://www.nist.gov/cps/global-cities-team-challenge-2015.cfm. An agenda and additional materials related to the November teambuilding workshop are forthcoming. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s… Read More

White House Announces $160MM “Smart Cities” Initiative

The Obama administration, in conjunction with the Smart Cities Council Annual Meeting, on Sept. 14, announced $160mm in federal research, grants and collaborations to help local communities manage major challenges using 21st century tools. As part of the initiative, the Administration is announcing: More than $35 million in new grants and over $10 million in proposed… Read More

Open Data Standards Affect City Spending Decisions

City decision makers should consider the new federal “open data” standards before building their own digital infrastructure. The DATA Act 2014  requires the Department of the Treasury and the White House Office of Management and Budget to transform U.S.federal spending from disconnected, hard to find documents into open, standardized data, and to publish that data online.… Read More

Improve City Services with Innovation, Technology

(excerpt from:  Using Innovation and Technology to Improve City Services) Cities are increasingly becoming the public sector service delivery engines in the United States. They have heard a call to action: residents expect cities to find ways to improve services.  And cities are gearing up to do so. City governments, residents, and interest groups are… Read More

Five Elements of City Performance Improvement

The City of Carlton, Oregon engaged a team to establish a performance management approach that improves Carlton City government results. Under the new approach, the City would continually focus on its mission and goals and use performance information in management and policy decision-making. A results-oriented focus would permeate the City government’s strategic planning, budgeting, measuring,… Read More

The Future of Digital Services: Five Trends Transforming Government

Government is often perceived as being behind the digital innovation curve, taking significantly longer to adopt web-based solutions than the private sector, with less enthusiasm and less skill. But in recent years, federal, state, and local agencies are challenging that perception. Creating and optimizing digital services has become a top priority for government.The pressures forcing… Read More

New Evidence Shows Citizen Engagement Increases Tax Revenues

Evidence continues to show that citizen engagement, citizens participating in public policy issues, leads to increased tax compliance  and higher tax revenues.  Quite a while ago, drawing mainly from the literature on tax morale, Tiago Peixoto at DemocracySpot posted about the evidence on the relationship between citizen engagement and tax revenues.  As a side note, he is still… Read More

Software for Cities: Know your Problems Before Purchasing

Cities buy software but are cities really getting the problem solving value from that software?  Understanding the value of the huge amounts of data now available and designing the software and databases to yield solutions to difficult problems through predictive analysis of the data leads into the next generation in city software. For hundreds of… Read More

City Software: From Silos to Platform

By Barbara Thornton. Originally published 9-27-14 as a guest post  in  Sangeet Paul Choudary‘s blog Platform Thinking, The New Rules of Business in a Networked World.  This post leverages the Magnet – Tools & Rules – Data framework that Choudary first alluded to in a Harvard Business Review article here.  In this post, Barbara uses this Platform Thinking… Read More