Innovation News July 31, 2014



DIJON’S AGE OBSERVATORY
The City of Dijon, capital of Burgundy, is part of an urban network of towns in French-speaking European countries that are working to improve the lives of older residents.  The Age Observatory in Dijon ensures that planning and other public services enable continuing accessibility and housing design improvements.    
AVOIDING SMART CITY MISTAKES
As world cities work to become smarter, it is useful to assess initial smart city strategies to avoid the mistakes of the first wave of development of smart cities.  Learn more about how to build on this experience. 
   
ICE PIGGING USED TO CLEAN WATER MAINS
Ice pigging, a sustainable method developed in the UK for cleaning water mains, is gaining traction with U.S. municipalities as a maintenance best practice. Learn more about specific case studies that highlight ice pigging benefits.  

INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF TRASH TRUCKS
At three miles per gallon, garbage trucks have very poor fuel efficiency.  As municipalities try to reduce pollution and realize cost savings, municipal fleets and transit systems are seeking new fuel sources.  Following the lead of private companies, cities are moving to the use of compressed natural gas for garbage trucks.   

IDEAS FOR BUILDING A MORE RESILIENT NEW YORK CITY
Rebuild by Design, a competition dedicated to creating innovative community and policy based approaches to protect U.S. cities that are vulnerable to weather events, has produced six winning projects for New York City.     

THE RISE OF INNOVATION DISTRICTS
A recent Brookings Institution report examines a significant shift occurring in the geography of innovation.  Rather than innovation being dominated by isolated suburban corporate campuses, “innovation districts” are home to leading edge clusters of companies which connect start-ups, incubators and accelerators. 
 
MANAGING GROWTH TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
Some estimates are that more than 70 percent of carbon emissions are directly influenced by the built environment and transportation.  Learn more about how some thoughtful community planning considerations can help make a difference in managing climate change.    
   
CREATING URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE VALUE  
Recently, Siemens, PwC and Berwin Leighton jointly launched the Investor Ready Cities study to assess how cities can work with more sophisticated forms of financing to deliver infrastructure projects and what needs to be done to create confidence in the private sector.

VALUING VACANT BUILDINGS
A tool called Hidden Value in Abandoned Buildings (HViAB), applies the concept of location and property value to vacant and abandoned buildings with amenities located within a one half mile radius.  The tool also uses data which calculates affordability based on housing and transportation.  HViAB can be used by planers and developers to determine which vacant properties justify investment to be made in rehabilitation.   

TED LAUNCHES URBAN OBSERVATORY    
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a non-profit which focuses on ideas worth learning, has launched the Urban Observatory.  The observatory is a multi-media interactive exhibit that uses big data to enable comparisons of the world’s largest cities.

KEY LESSONS FROM NLC CITIES SUMMIT
An April, 2014 summit in Chicago hosted by the National League of Cities, called for urban leaders to share innovative policies and programs.  Learn more about some key approaches discussed at the summit.

SOLVING BEJING’S POLLUTION CRISIS
Bejing’s municipal government will allocate some 1 trillion yuan ($160 billion U.S.) to reduce air pollution by 25% by 2017.  The pollution reduction initiative will be aided by IBM’s “Green Horizon http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44202.wss”program which focuses on air quality and renewable energy management and energy optimization.

PRE-APPROVED PLANS
Some U.S. West Coast communities have successfully established a pre-approved development plan permit option http://insight.mrsc.org/2014/07/03/whats-not-to-like-pre-approved-plans-offer-faster-permitting-cheaper-housing-quality-design/ to ease frustrations of homeowners and builders.  Homeowners and contractors are offered the opportunity to use house plans that have been reviewed and approved in advance. 
   
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT INTERACTIVE MAPS
Capital Improvement Plan interactive map applications in use in some U.S. communities, make it possible to view multiple project locations at a glance to increase understanding of and engage citizens in setting local capital expenditure priorities.   

FIRE SERVICE SUSTAINABILITY
Concepts such as integrated risk management planning (IRMP), shifting to more effective fire prevention, EMS incorporation and incorporating new technology approaches are initiatives directed toward greater fire service sustainability.  Learn more about these approaches and their implementation.  

UK SEEN AS LEADER IN URBAN INNOVATION
Urban innovation centre, Future Cities Catapult and consultant group ARUP, have released a report, “How can the UK innovate for the world’s cities?” that places the United Kingdom at the forefront of innovation in urban areas.    

CREATING JOBS AND INCOME WITH CLEAN ENERGY
A new think tank report relating to British urban areas contends that there is significant potential for cites to generate their own energy in competition with large utilities, to create smarter, more affordable energy as well as local employment.    

SÃO PAULO REFORMS URBAN WASTE DISPOSAL
In early July, São Paulo, Brazil opened the first centralized mechanized sorting of recyclable waste in Latin America.  The new process enables separated waste to be compressed mechanically, to reduce its volume in order to be transported more easily.       

MADRID TRANSFORMS PUBLIC SERVICE MANAGEMENT  
The City of Madrid is working with IBM to use Big Data and analytics to transform its supplier management model.  The new approach will focus on more than 300 key performance indicators to measure quality across a wide range of city services, as a basis for paying each service provider.   
   
GOVERNMENTS STRUGGLE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Positive government communications through social media tools have been well documented and social media offers governments a way to connect directly and quickly with citizens.  However,  care should be taken not to cause a “twit storm” that can be generated by unscreened and unedited social media communications.

PLANNING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and ICLEI released  a study demonstrating how climate change has become has become a priority for cities around the world.  “The Urban Climate Change Governance Survey” was conducted in 350 cities to identify priorities and implementation strategies to increase environmental resilience.  
 
CALGARY POLICE LAUNCH ANTI-GANG INITIATIVE
The Calgary Police Service is launching a new anti-gang measure to provide resources for at risk youth and parents that are looking for help. GRIP (Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention) focuses on raising awareness, providing access to resources and cultivating tips about gang activity.

CITY OF GUELPH GUIDE TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
The City of Guelph online “User Guide to Local Government ” sets out how the municipality operates and the legislation, policy, by-laws and procedures that form the city’s governance framework.  The guide is a resource for both new councillors and  city residents and is thought to be the first of its kind in Canada.
 
FEATURES OF THE FUTURE SUSTAINABLE CITY   
A recent SustainableCitiesCollective article summarizes 21 features of the future sustainable city related to Finance and Auditing, Transport and Smart Cities and Crowdsourcing.

ATLANTA SCADpads MEET MILLENNIAL HOUSING NEEDS
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has created a micro-apartment  that can be used in converting warehouses, factories or car parks into loft apartments.   The unit, designed by millennials for millennials, has hi-tech features and is energy efficient. 

PRIORITIES OF U.S. AND EUROPEAN MAYORS
New data provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge highlights some key differences in the challenges confronting U.S and European Mayors.  Cities in the U.S. are focused on government efficiency/customer service while those in Europe are more concerned about unemployment and cutting energy waste.    

BUFFALO’S GREEN CODE
The City of Buffalo, New York is finalizing its Green Code, replacing the single use zoning code that has regulated development in the city through the last 60 years, in order to shift to a new focus on “place-based planning.”  

CHICAGO SENSORS YIELD “BIG DATA”
The City of Chicago will install a system of data collection sensors on selected light poles later this summer, that will measure air quality, light intensity, sound volume, climate information and cell phone traffic to enable the development of tools to improve quality of life.       

EDMONTON PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT TOOL   
The City of Edmonton has launched The Edmonton Insight Community online where residents can provide opinions and input on matters that affect the city’s future.  Communications can be through computers or smartphones.  

BEYOND SMART GROWTH
For the most part, smart growth and smart transportation have become mainstream. However, there have been subsequent developments in green infrastructure, green building and community resilience that lead to a fuller view on urban development.  Learn more about some perspectives on expanding smart growth.      

Contact

Bruce McLeod
OMKN Coordinator

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