What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like? Most cities are utterly unfriendly to people with disabilities – but with almost one billion estimated to be urban-dwellers by 2050, a few cities are undergoing a remarkable shift by Saba Salman To David Meere, a visually impaired man from Melbourne, among the various obstacles to life in cities is another that…Read More
In this installment of the Innovation of the Month series (read last month’s story here), we explore the use of smart technologies to help blind and visually impaired people better navigate the world around them. A team at Ohio State University has been working on a “smart paint” application to do just that. MetroLab’s Executive Director Ben Levine sat down…Read More
Begin: WordPress Article Content Technology has always been a critical force deeply intertwined with the evolution of cities. From the first human settlements millennia ago to the industrial revolution to today, technological breakthroughs have impacted the buildings we use, the way we get around and how we live, work and play in the urban space. The development of smart cities…Read More
With the urban share of the world’s population expected to increase to 70 percent by 2050, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy is introducing a new tool to help governments, city planners, NGOs, and developers make cities more equitable, healthy, safe, and vibrant. The simple solution? Walkability. The new tool, Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City will facilitate…Read More
And how cities can create new avenues for pedestrians On a fall Saturday at Panorama High School, deep in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley, an arborist fields questions about which street trees produce the most shade with the least amount of water. A rep from a local street furniture vendor explains the difference between a bus bench and more protective…Read More
Sustainable, inclusive, prosperous, and resilient cities depend on transportation that facilitates the safe, efficient, and pollution-free flow of people and goods, while also providing affordable, healthy, and integrated mobility for all people. The pace of technology-driven innovation from the private sector in shared transportation services, vehicles, and networks is rapid, accelerating, and filled with opportunity. At the same time,…Read More
Fifteen of the world’s leading mobility companies today signed the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, which aim to provide a uniform vision for making cities more livable through aligned mobility priorities. By signing off on the 10 principles, the companies pledge to plan cities and mobility together; prioritize people over vehicles; support the shared and efficient use of vehicles,…Read More
Innovating for People With Disabilities: Why companies should invest in universal design. Sensor technology, automation, artificial intelligence and the evolution of natural-language processing have made our personal electronic devices more intuitive and functional than ever. In recent years, these technologies have converged to make up the Internet of Things (IoT)—that is, a movement to make everyday items “smart” by embedding…Read More
Urban rejuvenation projects are most successful if they are designed with shared community goals in mind. Photo by Elisa Greco/Flickr Our impressions of a city are formed mainly by the quality of public spaces. If they are not pleasant and preserved, or if they transmit a sense of insecurity, we will seldom return. Good planning of these spaces should be the…Read More
Putting Digital Equity in Cities Front and Center There are plenty of opportunities and challenges for municipal leaders who want to expand access to high-speed Internet in their communities. WASHINGTON — Providing Wi-Fi hotspot devices that can be checked out from libraries, connecting residents in public housing with high speed Google Fiber service and beaming down wireless Internet signals to…Read More
The Digital Equity Initiative Seattle’s Digital Equity Initiative was launched in response to the City’s quadrennial Technology Indicators Report, released in May 2014. The Report found significant disparities in internet access and digital literacy skills for those of lower education, low-incomes, seniors, disabled, minorities, and immigrants. The Initiative is one part of the Mayor’s broadband strategy to increase access, affordability,…Read More
Smart Cities Need Technology That Understands All Humans Cities need to be accessible to all, including those with hearing and sight impairments, and restricted mobility The world’s cities and their populations are growing at an unprecedented rate. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in urbanized areas, compared to just a…Read More
Smart cities are getting more and more attention in the media, from technology companies and entrepreneurs, and increasingly from both local governments and civil society. On one hand, smart cities hold the promise to potentially make the growing number of cities around the globe more efficient, more tech-savvy, more wired–and with all that, they can hopefully improve the quality of…Read More
To build an inclusive smart city, look through an age-friendly lens. As the aging population expands, some cities are implementing strategic plans to ensure the needs of the elderly are met — especially in terms of mobility and housing. Published Jan. 9, 2018 Attention to equity in city planning and in the distribution of municipal services is booming, especially…Read More
This project was completed in Pittsburgh, the city of bridges. Residents of the city may cross multiple bridges on a daily basis. Yet, they rarely think about the bridge as they cross it or ponder how different their lives would be without it nor do they analyze what went into building that bridge. Even so, bridges are extremely important. They…Read More
On December 14th, we hosted our final Smart City Hub Meetup of the year with special guest speakers David Keyes (Seattle IT), Azmeena Hasham (Verizon), and Bob Akers (e-Stewards). Thus far, the meetups have been focused on emerging technologies such as broadband and sensors, connected & autonomous vehicles, blockchain, cybersecurity, shared mobility platforms and advanced data analytics. But last week,…Read More
The Secret Sauce of a Successful Smart City (updated 01/03/2018) “A city isn’t smart because it uses technology. A city is smart because it uses accessible technology to build an inclusive culture ensuring no one is left behind.” Darren Bates This blog focuses on the “secret sauce” that turns the idea of a smart city into reality — the people who live in…Read More
Sidewalk Toronto is a joint effort by Waterfront Toronto and Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to create a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront, beginning with the creation of Quayside. Sidewalk Toronto will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centred neighbourhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity. Transcript ________________…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