Innovation News, October 2013


YOKOHAMA SMART CITY PROJECT
Driven by their economic growth, Asian cities are looking for ways to better manage energy use.  The Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP) is one of the largest smart city demonstration projects in Japan, which includes a range of components including renewable energy, energy management of households, buildings and neighbourhoods and electric vehicles.

UK ADAPTATION TO GLOBAL MANUFACTURING REVOLUTION
A new report, “The Future of Manufacturing:  A new era of opportunity and challenge for the UK ,” states that manufacturing will enter a new phase driven by rapid changes in technology, leading to volatility regarding the price and availability of resources and requiring new ways of doing business.

THE FUTURE OF POLICE SERVICES
As is the case with other municipal service areas, police services must respond to increasing citizen expectations and fiscal constraints.  Meet these challenges requires operational and technological change.  A recent report  from Accenture identifies common policing issues identified in 17 police services from around the world and some key steps that can be taken to transform police services.   

THE SAN FRANCISCO EXODUS
A recent Atlantic Cities article contends that something has gone terribly wrong in San Francisco.  High housing costs that reflect restrictive zoning and local activists that protect neighbourhoods from increased density, a low rate of new housing construction and increased housing demand are driving people to the larger Bay area.    

TOP 100 CITY INNOVATORS
The Future Cities 100:  Top 100 City Innovators Worldwide initiative has developed a list of the leading innovators who are making a difference in a range of urban service areas and related industries.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOUSING BUBBLES  
A recent Atlantic Cities article highlights the world’s fastest accelerating housing markets and the reasons for their growth.    

MOVEMENT IN MAJOR CITIES
The Urban Times has posted videos of how movement and major infrastructure is happening in some major cities.  These videos provide a basis for assessing the long term sustainability of city structures. 
 
THE TOP 25 U.S. HIGH-TECH LOCATIONS
The knowledge economy, with its lucrative high-tech jobs and spinoff employment, is a key sector for economic growth and prosperity.  A recent analysis by the Progressive Policy Institute identifies and examines the concentration of high-tech jobs in U.S. metros.    

THE BIG SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS IN 2014
A recent Huffington Post article identifies four major trends in social media for 2014, that reflect the proliferation of smart phones and tablets, 24/7 connectivity and the preferences of millennials. 
    
SEATTLE’S PARKING TRANSFORMATION
The City of Seattle SeaPark Program specifies parking in different city districts based on need, while ensuring that some spaces remain open throughout the day.  While not as advanced technologically as the San Francisco SFpark program, it operates at a fraction of the San Francisco costs.      

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS SOME MILLENNIAL PERSPECTIVES ON URBAN AREAS
The perspectives of millennials have become the focus of housing professionals, marketing firms and officials in different levels of government and they have also become a preoccupation of planners.  A recent SustainableCitiesCollective article assesses the reaction of this demographic group to the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s Urbanology game. 
 
BUILDING BETTER MUNICIPAL BUDGETS
A recent U.S. report, “Building Better Budgets:  A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development,”  surveys a range of different development scenarios and examines the relative costs of smart growth development and conventional suburban development and their revenue potential.  

TORONTO RANKS AS SECOND MOST REPUTABLE CITY
A new study ranks the City of Toronto second, behind Sydney, Australia, as one of the most reputable cities of the world.  The ranking is based on a survey of residents of G8 countries completed in early 2013.  

RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION TRENDS IN U.S. CITIES
The “Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions: 2012 Edition” report identifies some specific tends regarding infill development across 209 U.S. metros between 2000 and 2009.

SMARTER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
A new report, “Improving economic competitiveness and vitality – A smarter approach to economic development,” emphasizes that striking a balance between business, talent and technology is key to successful economic development and  competitiveness.  

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS EMERGING PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Citizens connect with their local governments in a wide variety of ways and initiatives are being undertaken in many jurisdictions to accommodate robust exchanges with residents.  Learn more about some suggestions for effective community engagement and leading practices to assist in their implementation. 
    
INVESTING IN NEIGHBOURHOODS
While strengthening existing neighbourhoods is key to broader urban sustainability, investing in older local communities presents challenges.  The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has developed a collaborative approach to support residents in restoring their communities by assessing local strengths and opportunities for improvement.  

CALIFORNIA’S INNOVATION HUB PROGRAM  
California’s Innovation Hub Program has led to the establishment of 16 iHubs, designed to harness innovation and resources to attract new investment and jobs to the state.  Learn more about the Inland SoCal Link iHub that is focused on local educational institutions and on its transportation infrastructure to diversify the local economy.   

SMARTER PUBLIC SAFETY
Data analytics and predictive policing can lead to better crime prevention and emergency management.  The IBM Intelligent Operations Center diverse data to identify patterns to enable decision makers to anticipate, rather than react to law enforcement issues.

FOR U.S. CITIES OPEN DATA IS THE NORM
The residents of U.S. cities and those in larger Canadian centres, are keeping informed about city initiatives and services through local government data portals. A leading example of a city open data initiative is San Francisco’s government barometer, a tool that measures city performance in a broad range of city services.     
 
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS 50 IDEAS FOR SUSTAINABLE CITIES
The Morgenstadt:  City Insights innovation network has completed an analysis of the world’s leading cities for systemic urban solutions.  The project assessed more than 100 leading practices for sustainable urban development.    

SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO MUNICIPALITIES CLEAN WATER INITIATIVE
The Huron Elgin London (HELP) Clean Water initiative involving 14 municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, supported by senior governments, is making progress through a series of infrastructure projects to improve water supply systems and ensure clean water supply to more than 500,000 people in urban and rural  communities.

AUGUSTA’S REVITALIZATION PLAN   
The Augusta Sustainable Development Implementation Program has undertaken an intensive planning process to renew declining areas in central Augusta.  Learn more about this initiative and the focus on implementing economic revival, improved transportation and better neighbourhood design and amenities.     

CLIMATE CHANGE LEADERS
A recent juried competition recognized ten major cities as “climate leaders” based on their innovative approaches to climate change initiatives.  The awards are sponsored by the group C40 Cities and Siemens, the German engineering corporation.     

STRUGGLING TO APPLY BEST PRACTICES
The development and application of local government “best practices” should lead to replicating the success of other jurisdictions.  Or does the unique character and operation of various cities, in fact limit the transferability of leading practices?   

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS CHICAGO LAUNCHES PUBLIC DATA DICTIONARY
In mid-October, the City of Chicago launched the Chicago Data Dictionary,  a single comprehensive database for the city and its agencies.  The dictionary contains detailed information on every data set held by city departments, directions on accessing the data and data formats.      

MEMPHIS CROUDSOURCES FUNDING FOR PLANNED BIKEWAY
The City of Memphis, Tennessee has championed the expansion of its bicycle infrastructure as a component of its Green Lane Project.  The city’s $4.5 million Hampline project, a combination  on and off street bikeway in the arts district, will be the first U.S. cycling transportation project to be partially paid for by a crowdfunded campaign.    

ENTERPRISE ZONES  
Enterprise Zones offer incentives to support new and expanding businesses.  Learn more about key Enterprise Zone projects across the UK.  

IMPROVING LOCAL GOVERNMENT DIGITAL STRATEGY
A recent article in the guardian (UK), summarizes some important advice to local governments on how to be more effective in the use of digital services and social media in engaging residents.

2012 OMBI REPORT RELEASE
The recently released 2012 Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) Report  compares and presents performance measurement results in 36 key areas in participating municipalities in  Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.   

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS THE NEXT DECADE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
An article  in a recent issue of ICMA’s PM Magazine, sets out some key activities that can assist managers to manage fiscal challenges successfully and to take advantage of future opportunities through the next “decade of local government.”

INVOLVING THE COMMUNITY IN POLICE STRATEGIC PLANNING   
While some police agencies administer surveys to obtain feedback on programs, few police services develop a dialogue with the local community to seek input and guidance in their strategic planning processes.  The experience of the City of Greenville, North Carolina however, demonstrates that an inclusive planning process can enable greater planning consensus and stronger ongoing relationships with local communities.    

COPENHAGEN’S  CLIMATE ADAPTATION
The City of Copenhagen anticipates specific resilience challenges as sea levels rise and super storms batter coastal areas with greater frequency.  Learn more about the city’s long term climate adaptation approach, based on green infrastructure.     

GRONINGEN, THE LEADING CYCLING CITY
While the bicycle in the Netherlands is a ubiquitous mode of transportation, it is the northern  City of Groningen with a population of 190,000 and cycle mode share of 50 per cent, that demonstrates how policies that focus on pedestrians and unique transportation patterns make this city a world leader.     

UK SMART CITIES BACKGROUND PAPER
The UK Government has published a paper that assesses what smart cities mean, related challenges and the opportunities that smart cities present for economic growth.     

THE MOST PRODUCTIVE U.S. METROS
A recent Atlantic Cities article ranks the productivity of U.S. metropolitan areas based on 2012 real GDP per capita data.  The most productive metros  reflect knowledge-economy centres, e.g. Seattle and Portland and the emerging energy belt, e.g. Houston region.  

UK COUNCILS TRANSFORMING LOCAL GOVERNMENT
UK Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis recently announced that 18 local authorities will share a £6.9 million reward for initiatives that radically alter how they do business.  Successful programs focus on shared finance and HR for emergency services, shared asset management, integration of local health services and the use of service data to obtain greater efficiencies.    

FISCAL HEALTH DIAGNOSTIC TOOL
The Center for Priority Based Budgeting, a Denver based non-profit that provides technical services to local governments, has developed a Fiscal Health Diagnostic Tool that enables municipalities to reassess priorities in order to make strategic funding decisions.  

CHICAGO USES SOCIAL MEDIA TO FIGHT GANG VIOLENCE
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) has developed a tool called “network analysis,” which uses social media to map and chart relationships among the city’s 14,000 most active gang members, to counter a recent spike in homicides and gang violence.  Typically, a police service would use a tactic called “hot spot” policing or flooding an area with officers; however, the focus is now on ranking how gang members may be involved in a homicide as victims or offenders based on their relationships.     

HONG KONG’S TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT MODEL
The Hong Kong transit model called “rail plus property.” Is a value capture scheme that enables   the Mass Transit Railway Company Limited (MTR) to develop low cost land around future stations and use profits to finance system expansion.  A recent Next City article assesses whether this model is transferable.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS     NYC WAYFINDING SYSTEM
This past summer, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) launched the first phase of its WalkNY campaign.  The recently designed wayfinding system highlights walking as an integral component of public transit.

OPEN DATA TRANSFORMS CHICAGO
With some 39 U.S. cities operating their own data portals, the way residents interact with their local governments is changing dramatically.  The City of Chicago, for example, has issued an executive order mandating regular release of city data, leading to one of the largest and most robust models of U.S. open government.

POLICIES TO BOOST URBAN INNOVATION/RESILIENCE
A recent guide, “Policies for Shareable Cities:  A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders,” contains transferable ideas that cities can consider.  Learn more about some shareable polices to promote city prosperity.

ABANDONED STADIUM CONVERTS TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Until 1996, Bush Stadium in downtown Indianapolis, was home to minor league baseball teams and subsequently to a midget racecar track and then a car junkyard.  However, a project was completed in August of this year to convert the former stadium to an affordable apartment housing complex.  

CITY OF BARRIE OPTIMIZES INFRASTRUCTURE SUSTAINABILITY
The City of Barrie is managing the challenges of aging infrastructure, new demand levels and environmental regulation using “Cityworks” an innovative GIS-based technology application that enables streamlined asset maintenance and repairs and the sustainability of its expanding infrastructure.      

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS SINGAPORE LOOKS FOR MORE SPACE
Singapore is running out of room for its 5.4 million people, despite its tall apartment buildings, reclamation of underused properties and expansion of coastal land.  With 1.5 million residents expected over the next 15 years, the city is now considering utilization of underground space to accommodate growth.

UPDATE ON ROOFTOP FARMING   
Rooftop farming is not without obstacles, including permitting, supplying adequate soil and water, challenging growing conditions and personal liability risks.  However, rooftop farmers are focusing on properties in large cities such as New York and Chicago, that are already green.

HOUSTON’S URBAN REVIVAL   
The City of Houston’s East End, a sparsely populated Hispanic community on the edge of the city’s downtown, is witnessing a transformation from an area of industrial and undeveloped land to an urban neighbourhood served by light rail transit, extensive pedestrian improvements, new parks and trails and a new cultural center.  The changes are the result of the efforts of the privately funded Greater East End Management District.

CHICAGO TRANSIT INVESTMENT KEY TO CITY’S ECONOMY         
Public transportation investment, airport modernization and improving roads, including the city’s bicycle network, are core components of Chicago’s economic strategy.  The program of subway system rehabilitation, new station construction and the new Ventra farecard system http://chi.streetsblog.org/2013/08/23/getting-to-work-with-ventra-an-uneventful-experience/, is a key example, resulting in job creation, over 40 new commercial real estate deals and major increases in property values.

THE VALUATION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
A recent report by the C.D. Howe Institute, contends that the costs of public sector investments in infrastructure projects are underestimated and should include risk to taxpayers, arising from bad investment decisions and risks that are not accounted for.  

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS          CURITIBA’S PLAN FOR A CYCLE-FRIENDLY CITY
In early September 2013, the City of Curitiba announced its Plan Cicloviário guide a $90 million investment to implement hundreds of kilometers of new bike lanes in a “cycling micro grid design.”  The plan contains twelve key measures from infrastructure deployment to the creation of a cycling plaza.  
 
EL PASO TEACHES NEW URBANISM TO URBAN PROFESSIONALS       
City officials in El Paso, Texas are developing a training program for both public officials and the private sector on new urbanism (walkable, mixed use neigbourhoods).  The course was developed in conjunction with the University of Miami and  includes content on the core principles  and best practices of new urbanism.  There is an accreditation requirement for those taking the course.

CHICAGO SMART DATA PLATFORM
Then City of Chicago will build an open-source predictive analytics platform that will help city officials to use broadly based data to make smarter, faster decisions in real time.  The platform will integrate data with algorithms and the system can be shared with and modified by other cities.    

STOCKHOLM ROYAL SEAPORT SUSTAINABLE CITY DISTRICT  
Stockholm is in the midst of converting the Royal Seaport to a world-class sustainable city district, with completion scheduled in 2030.  The project, which began in 2010, is redeveloping a series of industrial brownfield sites to provide a community of new homes, office and commercial space built to high environmental standards, as well as a new modern port for cruise ships.  
 
TORONTO CHIEF PLANNER ROUNDTABLES
The City of Toronto Chief Planner Roundtables initiative launched earlier this year, brings together a range of planning and development industry professionals to develop solutions to the city’s challenges related to public space, climate change, infrastructure, urban form and transportation.    

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IBM CLOUD-BASED ANALYTICS
In late September, IBM unveiled new analytics capabilities in its Smarter Cities software to improve municipal service delivery.  The new software, designed in collaboration with city leaders, enables local governments to increase operational efficiency and to make predictions to help budgeting for capital improvements.

NYC ENACTS BUILDING RESILIENCY LAWS   
The New York City Council has enacted laws implementing five recommendations of the Building Resiliency Task Force http://www.paramuspost.com/article.php/20130924175412496, led by the Urban Green Council.  The laws are designed to improve preparation for future hurricanes and extreme weather.

THE RESURGENCE OF U.S. SUBURBS
In a recent article in Forbes, Joel Kotkin writes about an analysis by demographer Wendell Cox, of U.S. counties over 100,000 population that have gained the most residents since 2010.  The study shows that suburbs and exurbs are making a comeback, casting some doubt on the claims that more people are moving “back to the city.”   

MELBOURNE SELLS COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS ON GREEN RETROFITS
The City of Melbourne has developed a program called “1200 Buildings” that encourages owners of commercial buildings to improve energy efficiency.  Commercial buildings make up over 50 per cent of the city’s emissions and the goal of the program is to convince two-thirds of the city’s 1,800 office building owners to retrofit structures with state-of-the-art energy and water technology.    

PARIS ALLOWS SKYSCRAPERS BACK IN THE CITY
Until recently, skyscrapers in Paris have been confined to La Défense district in the city.  Paris laws now permit building heights of up to 180 meters (about 500 feet), giving rise to three new projects in the city , ranging from 525 feet to 590 feet.   Learn more http://www.theatlanticcities.com/topics/skyscrapers/?page=1 about urban skyscrapers.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Contact

Bruce McLeod
OMKN Coordinator

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