While digital divide and digital literacy have entered into common use – and into discussions by policy makers – the term digital inclusion is still quite new. Digital inclusion is a much broader category that addresses the other two. Importantly, “digital inclusion” has been articulated specifically to address issues of opportunity, access, knowledge, and skill at the level of policy.…Read More
This article was first published on The World Bank’s Governance for Development blog. Over the last couple of years a small team of us have worked on an initiative to incorporate the regular, systematic feedback of citizens into the design and execution of World Bank programs. I would like to share some of our experiences working together with governments, civil society…Read More
In the public sector today, citizen engagement and participation are crucial, as shown by the vast array of state and local governments on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. As GovLoop reports, when citizen participation programs are implemented effectively, more citizens are brought into the decision-making process, which means government can ultimately be more responsive to community needs. But as with…Read More
Accessibility in the News—12/01/17. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted before the word “internet” became part of our daily vocabulary, require businesses to make their websites accessible? This year’s federal decisions say it does. This week covers a great deal in how that requirement is affecting various industries. The debate continues on whether or not “ADA compliance” is a…Read More
Smart City San Diego is a broad public-private collaboration that includes the City of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, General Electric, the University of California, San Diego, and CleanTech San Diego. The objective of the collaboration is to improve the region’s energy independence, to empower consumers to use electric vehicles, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to encourage…Read More
TRANSCRIPT 00:00 smart cities provide us with living 00:03 breathing data that can help improve our 00:05 lives by leveraging new technologies the 00:08 Internet of Things sensors and mobile 00:10 devices 00:11 we can truly make a city more 00:13 sustainable and responsive revealing 00:15 information for things like how we 00:17 commute energy efficiency and even 00:20 creating…Read More
Smart Cities Smart, data-driven City Seattle has grown by 70,000 people in the past five years and will grow by 120,000 more by 2035 – a 31 percent population increase. Our city government staff will likely not increase at a similar rate, although the city’s needs will continue to grow. This includes everything from sustainability and energy use to safety…Read More
n the Government, digital services projects too often fail to meet user expectations or contain unused or unusable features. Several factors contribute to these outcomes, including the use of outdated development practices and, in some cases, overly narrow interpretations of what is allowed by acquisition regulations. OMB is developing tools to significantly upgrade the ability of Government digital services to deliver better results to our citizens and improve the way we capitalize on information technology (IT ) to better serve the American people.
One tool is the Digital Services Playbook, which identifies a series of “plays” drawn from proven private sector best practices to help agencies successfully deliver digital services. Another tool is the TechFAR, which highlights flexibilities  in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR ) that can help agencies implement “plays” in the Playbook that would be accomplished with acquisition support.
The vision for the TechFAR is that it will be expanded in future iterations to address many areas of IT. This edition of the TechFAR is aligned with the Digital Services Playbook guidance to use contractors to support an iterative development process. In particular, it emphasizes Agile software development , a technique for doing modular contracting and a proven commercial methodology that is characterized by incremental and iterative processes where releases are produced in close collaboration with the customer. This process improves investment manageability, lowers risk of project failure, shortens the time to realize value, and allows agencies to better adapt to changing needs. Agile software development is geared towards projects where significant design and development are needed, such as digital services (e.g., healthcare.gov or recreation.gov) as well as internal digital services and business systems. It is not designed to be used for commodity IT purchases, especially where commercially available off-the-shelf items can be used as-is at a lower cost and lower risk to the Government….Read More
The American people expect to interact with government through digital channels such as websites, email, and mobile applications. By building digital services that meet their needs, we can make the delivery of our policy and programs more effective.
Today, too many of our digital services projects do not work well, are delivered late, or are over budget. To increase the success rate of these projects, the U.S. Government needs a new approach. We created a playbook of 13 key “plays” drawn from successful practices from the private sector and government that, if followed together, will help government build effective digital services….Read More
The age of the “Smart City” is upon us!
It’s just that, we don’t really know what that means. Or, at least, not yet.
So far, many “Smart City” pilot projects that we’ve undertaken here in Boston have ended with a glossy presentation, and a collective shrug. Nobody’s really known what to do next, or how the technology and data might lead to new or improved services.
We want to change that. We address this playbook to the technology companies, scientists, researchers, journalists, and activists that make up the “Smart City” community. In return for heeding this advice, we commit that we, the City of Boston, will not sit in City Hall and complain about the lack of solutions to our problems. We promise to get out into the City, find ways to help you pilot new ideas, and be honest with our feedback.
Our goal is to create a City-wide strategy for the use of sensor technologies that is people-centered, problem-driven, and responsible.
We need your help to get there.
*This playbook is a living draft being developed by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and is inspired by the US Digital Service’s Playbook. Please send us your thoughts for building it out further, and watch for new updates!Read More
(This article originally appeared in September 2012 as “Five steps to a Smarter City: and the philosophical imperative for taking them“. Because it contains an overall framework for approaching Smart City transformations, I keep it updated to reflect the latest content on this blog; and ongoing developments in the industry. It was last updated and posted as a blog entry on 8th September 2013).
As I’ve worked with cities over the past two years developing their “Smarter City” strategies and programmes to deliver them, I’ve frequently written articles on this blog exploring the main challenges they’ve faced: establishing a cross-city consensus to act; securing funding; and finding the common ground between the institutional and organic natures of city ecosystems….Read More
By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in mega-cities. How all those people live, and what their lives are like, will depend on important choices leaders make today and in the coming years.
A smog-cleaning tower in Beijing is an example of technology improving residents’ lives.
Technology has the power to help people live in communities that are more responsive to their needs and that can actually improve their lives. For example, Beijing, notorious for air pollution, is testing a 23-foot-tall air purifier that vacuums up smog, filters the bad particles and releases clear air.
This isn’t a vision of life like on “The Jetsons.” It’s real urban communities responding in real-time to changing weather, times of day and citizen needs. These efforts can span entire communities. They can vary from monitoring traffic to keep cars moving efficiently or measuring air quality to warn residents (or turn on massive air purifiers) when pollution levels climb.
Using data and electronic sensors in this way is often referred to as building “smart cities,” which are the subject of a major global push to improve how cities function. In part a response to incoherent infrastructure design and urban planning of the past, smart cities promise real-time monitoring, analysis and improvement of city decision-making. The results, proponents say, will improve efficiency, environmental sustainability and citizen engagement.
Smart city projects are big investments that are supposed to drive social transformation. Decisions made early in the process determine what exactly will change. But most research and planning regarding smart cities is driven by the technology, rather than the needs of the citizens. Little attention is given to the social, policy and organizational changes that will be required to ensure smart cities are not just technologically savvy but intelligently adaptive to their residents’ needs. Design will make the difference between smart city projects offering great promise or actually reinforcing or even widening the existing gaps in unequal ways their cities serve residents….Read More
The future of the world is urban. By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities, which will create 70% of the world’s GDP, according to the Pentagon. Many of these will be megacities with populations of ten million or more.
Managing such behemoth cities using traditional infrastructure will be impossible. So-called smart cities, or at least smarter cities, will be a necessity rather than a luxury—for both megacities as well as smaller cities also wrestling with their own set of problems.
Creating smart cities, however, can be exceptionally challenging. Here are some guidelines…Read More
ities all over the world are investing in infrastructure like fiber-optic networks, a range of sensors, and interactive touch-screens and in practices like open data collection in a race to become “smart and connected.” Cities are rushing to get “smart” in order to create new economic opportunities, to take advantage of potential systems efficiencies, and to not be left behind the technological curve. They’re making smart-city investments with the best of intentions to improve quality of life and increase opportunities for commerce, tourism, and their citizens alike.
As part of these smart and connected investments, many communities are developing smart-city strategies to guide development and implementation. For example, members of the Mayors Bistate Innovation Team published a digital playbook in 2011 in order to leverage a newly installed Google Fiber network to spark economic development, advance opportunities, and improve daily life in Kansas City. In 2013, the mayor of London formed the Smart London Board, which published the “Smart London Plan” to harness “the creative power of new technologies to serve London and improve Londoners’ lives.“ The plan lays out the numerous ways the city will utilize technology and big data to re-create London not only as a cutting-edge city, but as one able to handle the influx of people expected to move there by 2030. Creating and executing such a plan in a way that is intentionally responsive and relevant to the whole of a community can create the opportunity for a city to go beyond “smart” and instead become an “intelligent community.” This is, of course, easier said than done, but some essential steps toward enabling an intelligent community to flourish are outlined below….Read More
The answer seems to be a hopeful yes. At least 100 buildings each in 50 cities will be made accessible in a couple of years. These are part of the much hyped, technology intensive and ambitious ‘Smart Cities’ in the country. The Government had decided to turn 100 cities Smart.
The Government has selected these 50 cities under the Accessible India Campaign. Accordingly, the focus will be on auditing and ensuring access to atleast 25-50 of the most important government buildings in these cities fully accessible to these people by the end of 2017. By end of 2018, the target is to cover 50 per cent of all government building of the national capital region and all state capitals within reach….Read More
Cities are becoming more and more populated, and their design, services and urban elements directly impact on the way their citizens relate. It also has an impact on the economic and social development of the city. That is, the city in which we live, directly influences our quality of life and our social relations.
In this context, many cities have already included technology to increase the efficiency and sustainability of their services, turning them into smart cities. But many of them, have forgotten the most important, adapt the design, services and furniture to make them accessible cities. This is fundamental because a city that is not inclusive will prevent people with functional disabilities from being independent and will prevent their social inclusion….Read More
The United Nations (UN) estimates that by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. This creates an unprecedented pressure on cities around the world to optimise the standard of living for citizens, organisations and institutions.
Cities such as Dubai, Singapore, Yinchuan and Copenhagen are experimenting with new technology and digital services to target specific problems that affect their citizens. Copenhagen, for example, has set the target of becoming the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. The city reduced CO2 emissions by 38% between 2005 and 2015.
As part of a wider research project, we conducted research with the team at Copenhagen Solutions Lab (CSL), Copenhagen’s innovative incubator for driving smart city initiatives.Read More
Over the last years, there has been a shift from a top-down governance to a more horizontal governance. This new way of governing includes all the stakeholders of a public policy project, such as public organisations, businesses and citizens, into the implementation process. For instance, cities tap into their citizens’ wisdom through citizen engagement initiatives. The idea behind citizen engagement is that citizens should have some powers over the decisions that affect their lives. Yet, it is important to distinguish it from citizen participation. …Read More
The greatest advantage cities provide is the efficient utilization of resources- human, capital, land, water, and others- to achieve liveability objectives and also monetize the resources. The essence of the smart city concept is to achieve ‘more for less’. The proliferation of technology in the form of smartphones and super-fast wireless connectivity over the past decade has made it possible to give a technological angle to normal urban products and services….Read More
Internet of things project to create maps for wheelchair users
The University of Wollongong (UOW) will be the first university campus in Australia to have dedicated directional mapping for wheelchair users, making moving around easier and safer for people with a disability.
Briometrix, a start-up that specialises in technology for wheelchair users, has launched its pilot mapping project in partnership with the Digital Living Lab, an internet of things (IoT) initiative by UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility….Read More