Innovation News October 2015



LESSONS FOR CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT
Cities are focused on the development of innovative community engagement strategies that reflect  new technologies, social media and more collaborative design methods.  Learn more about related best practices from Metro Vancouver for better community engagement.  

MONTRÉAL AREA MUNICIPALITIES BEGIN THINKING REGIONALLY
New thinking in the Greater Montréal area has been reflected in the cooperation of area mayors on the Montréal Metropolitan Community.  The Metropolitan Land Use and Development Plan, regional commitment to transit-oriented development and the Metropolitan Agora that showcases innovative projects, all support regional cohesion.    
 
A NEW GREEN SPACE MODEL FOR CITIES
A new book, The Baltimore School of Urban Ecology, advocates a design perspective for green space that encompasses all the ecological processes that affect the entire urban landscape.   Learn more about multi-functional landscapes and their role in urban sustainability.

THE IMPACT OF METROPOLITAN DIVERSITY
A recent book, Equity, Growth, and Community:What the Nation Can Learn From America’s Metro Areas, examines the impacts of diverse communities, cultures and constituencies on regional economies, equitable growth and the capacity to meet the challenges of the global economy.    

KEYS TO MAKING A GREAT CITY PLAN
Based on his experience in working on city plans in Canada and internationally, Brent Toderian has assembled ten key steps to guide the process of municipal plan development.  These steps were used in the “AbbotsForward” planning process.

MICHIGAN “GRAND STRATEGY” FOR FLOOD PROTECTION  
The City of Grand Rapids and other local governments are partnering with the State of Michigan to develop “The Grand Strategy,” an initiative designed to reduce flood risk, strengthen resilience and improve local quality of life.    

GREEN ROOFS SAVE COSTS
A green roof often outlasts standard roofs and enables significant energy and stormwater control cost savings.  Learn more about green roof elements, building code requirements and benefits.  
    
CHICAGO’S “ARRAY OF THINGS” TO COLLECT ENVIRONMENTAL DATA
The City of Chicago will deploy some 500 sensor nodes on public poles to collect sound, light, vibration, meteorological and air quality data on specific gases.  Data collected will inform city decisions on traffic control, neighbourhood air quality and flood control.
       
LOS ANGELES HEALTH ATLAS
The past summer, the City of Los Angeles released its Health Atlas that analyzes how demographic conditions, social and economic factors, the physical environment, access to health care and health behavior impact the general health of city residents.    

TOOLS FOR SMALL COMMUNITIES
Those working for smaller local governments  face particular challenges  in pursuing local sustainability.  Integrating technology  into the operation of smaller municipalities can provide cost efficient tools to improve service delivery.   

CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS BICYCLE PLAN
The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts Bicycle Plan sets out a new vision for developing a network of complete streets and fundamental principles and policies that support bicycle safety throughout the city.  

RESTRUCTURING THE MUNICIPAL WEBSITE
The City of Boston website, Boston.gov, is being redeveloped to improve the accessibility of information and services for residents. The project is focused on community input to the website redesign, greater mobile responsiveness and “streamlined user journeys.”    

CHICAGO TO FOCUS ON B2B INNOVATION
Based on its reserves of corporate headquarters, Chicago business and political communities are collaborating to focus efforts to develop Business to Business (B2B) transaction innovation. Learn more about how the city is embracing startup culture and innovation.   
 
OPEN DATA IMPROVES SERVICE DELIVERY IN EUROPEAN CITIES
The Digital Agenda for Europe (2010) highlighted the value of more open data to create smarter cities and improve service delivery.  Learn more about the efforts of some major cities across Europe to partner in sharing and interpreting data.

UK CITY LOOKS TO DRIVERLESS CARS TO DESIGN FUTURE    
The City of Milton Keynes, an urban community of some 250,000 residents, is hosting driverless pod car trials for use in transporting residents in the city’s downtown and testing semi-autonomous connected cars for private use beyond the city centre.  The initiative reflects the fact that the city layout is not amenable to an efficient transit system.

A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN DEVELOPERS AND URBAN FARMERS
Building-integrated food production is a growing trend, led by real estate developers who are looking to small-scale local growers to incorporate rooftop and grade-level farms into project plans.     

A CASE STUDY IN REVIVING A DOWNTOWN
Newcastle, Australia, home to the heavy steel industry suffered decline at the end of the 20th century, leaving behind a blighted central business district.  Now almost a decade later, Newcastle has revived, through the Renew Newcastle initiative, which fostered small-scale enterprise in the city’s vacant core.     
 
ENCOURAGING WALKING IN SMALLER CITIES
University of Utah faculty and students have developed a methodology to identify street design considerations in smaller urban areas, that encourage walkability.  Learn more about these design indicators.     

PREDICTIVE POLICING STRATEGIES   
Predictive policing strategies combine traditional policing activities with other data related to friendships among offenders, social media activity and drug use to identify “hot people” to assist in forecasting crime.  Learn more about predictive policing approaches in some major U.S. cities.   

FUTURISTIC TRANSPORTATION PLANNING
The City of Baltimore has a history of haphazard transportation planning that has mitigated against a unified transportation plan.  Recently, a Morgan State University professor has recommended specific steps to improve transportation planning and design and to try to reset a discussion on developing a transportation strategy.

Contact

Bruce McLeod

T 416.971.9856 ext. 350
TF 1.877.426.6527
F 416.971.6191