The Blog

The Smart City

The Smart City

by Adam Kanter, Masters Student, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University //

What is a Smart City?

The meaning of the term “Smart City” varies widely, depending on the context. Often the focus falls solely on the technological aspect of the term, but this narrow reading fails to grasp that a true “Smart City” needs transparent and engaging governance, visionary city leaders, and an empowered and active citizenry, all utilizing and supported by an advanced technological infrastructure.

The applications of smart city technologies and practices are countless; they create opportunities to positively impact performance across all sectors, including, public safety, transportation, healthcare, governance, sustainability, education, and energy.

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Ellen Gilligan

Ellen Gilligan

Ellen Gilligan, President + CEO of The Greater Milwaukee Foundation //

You’ve spent your career  in the nonprofit sector. What brought you to this work?
It’s in my DNA. I grew up in a family that has a strong commitment to public and community service. My parents demonstrated their commitment through their words and their actions, and they passed on those values to me and my siblings.   My Dad used to say, “Life is not put on for your viewing pleasure—it’s not a game you watch from the sidelines. You have an opportunity and responsibility to use the gifts, talents and opportunities that you’ve been given to make the world a better place.” Early on I had a wonderful opportunity to work in community development and I knew then that the nonprofit sector was a place where I could make a difference.

What accomplishments with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation are you proudest of?

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Cities and CEOs are Leading on Paid Parental Leave

Cities and CEOs are Leading on Paid Parental Leave

by Keary McCarthy, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio //

The United States is the only developed country in the world that does not offer guaranteed, legally protected paid parental leave. Today, only 13 percent of US workers have access to paid family leave, and even more alarming is the reality that only four percent of low-wage workers are offered this benefit.

But 2015 has been a huge year of new opportunity for many working moms and dads.  A wave of progress is sweeping the nation as policymakers and employers demonstrate leadership in implementing paid parental leave policies.  A growing list of cities and companies are beginning to take action to provide paid leave for new parents.  And change is happening right here in Ohio where Innovation Ohio is partnering with local elected officials to lead on advancing this policy in the state…

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Do Hard Things. Be Accessible.

Do Hard Things. Be Accessible.

by William Murdock, Executive Director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission & CEOs for Cities Columbus, Ohio Cluster Member //

CEOs for Cities. Indianapolis.  As an advocate of my favorite oft-compared Midwestern neighbor, Columbus and Central Ohio, this was my chance for inspiration with a side of learning how we were keeping up with the Joneses – and – with leaders and thinkers from across the country.  I was expecting to be challenged about how better to connect, to innovate, and to nourish our talent and our uniqueness. And #IndyCEO did not disappoint. My takeaways are simply put: Do hard things. Be accessible.

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Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL)

Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL)

by Councilman Matt Zone, City of Cleveland //

In early December 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the results of a two-year investigation into the Cleveland Division of Police. The findings were shocking: Cleveland police officers regularly violated the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution by engaging in a “pattern or practice of using unreasonable and unnecessary force.”

“This pattern of excessive force has eroded public confidence in the police,” the report stated. It also said Cleveland police officers were not provided with adequate “training, policy guidance, support, supervision and equipment needed to allow them to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

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The Case Against Urban Corridors That Act Like High-Speed Highways

The Case Against Urban Corridors That Act Like High-Speed Highways

By PlusUrbia Design //

From the beginning of urbanized America, streets functioned to provide mobility in many ways:

People walked to work, trolley, horse-drawn then powered moved workers from factories and offices to home. Trains played a role in commutes. Bicycles incited a pedal power mobility craze for a while.
Then the automobile came along.

PlusUrbia_Calle Ocho Comparisonv2By the 1950s, roads became the sole domain of automobiles

The automotive industry even created the term “jay walking” and launched a campaign to demonize people on foot.

Sidewalks shrunk and beautifully landscaped medians were torn out to create more lanes for automobiles.

Trolley lines were ripped out and replaced with buses. But buses were devalued and branded as last ditch transportation for the unfortunate. Only the sedan was fit for the upwardly mobile middle class American.

Crosswalks were diminished. Those brazen enough to move around on two feet were seen as merely an impediment to moving more cars faster.

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Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

by Jared Green, Author, Designed for the Future, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2015) //

In Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World, I asked 80 leading urban planners, architects, landscape architects, and artists the same question: What gives you hope that a sustainable future is possible?

Many of these planning and design leaders pointed to cities as the answer.

There are a few reasons why cities give them such hope:

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Betting on Bold Ambition

Betting on Bold Ambition

by Daniel Regan, Vice President, Kanbar Properties //

Tulsa is a fortunate city. Fortunate to have a rich history of entrepreneurs and risk takers, of community leaders who learned long ago that sometimes you just have to be willing to take a leap of faith and bet on the bold ideas. This is the foundation on which we are growing our young talent today.

Standing on the shoulders of giants, inspired by the great gestures of generations before us, it feels to me as though our community’s young talent has started to wake up to its potential and began taking our city’s destiny by the hand.

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Building Bridges Between People & the Skills They Need to Succeed

Building Bridges Between People & the Skills They Need to Succeed

by Stephen J. Langel, Chief Development Officer, NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts & Technology //

NewBridge seeks to transform the lives of economically disadvantaged adults and youth in Greater Cleveland. For adults, NewBridge offers free career training programs that prepare graduates for in-demand, market-based careers. For youth, NewBridge provides free, cutting-edge after-school arts programs in ceramics, digital photography, film, graphic design and music recording and production in order to encourage students to stay in school and pursue post-secondary opportunities.

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3 Reasons Why People Don’t Ride Bikes

3 Reasons Why People Don’t Ride Bikes

by Traci Pollard, Brooklyness //

Commuting by bike, it seems, would be a no-brainer. It’s great for health and physical fitness, it’s fairly inexpensive and it’s good for the environment. So why don’t we see more of it in our urban centers? Especially in NYC.

We are Brooklyness, a boutique bike brand based out of Brooklyn. We design, and market products for urban mobility. Our products are practical solutions that are crafted to provide comfort and style for the urban commuter, focusing not just on bicycles, but the riding experience as a whole. We’ve done extensive research on some of the obstacles that have kept commuters from adopting a bike as a solution. “Millions of Americans commute less than 10 miles each day, but getting from home to work is usually inefficient”, states our CEO, Manuel Saez. Here are some of, what we believe, are reasons that people are reluctant to adopt commuting by bike.

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