For all the forces that conspire to separate and divide “big city” and “small town,” and all that is written about Ohio as a microcosm of the nation’s “culture wars,” Ohio’s small hub towns share many of the same characteristics and challenges as the state’s eight major cities. In a recent report for The Center for Community Solutions, Big City Problems in Ohio’s Small Towns, I analyzed economic, social and health data for 47 of these communities, which are located in about half of Ohio’s 88 counties – towns that are centers of civic, social, and economic life for areas extending beyond their borders.
With a combined population of 1,170,570, or 10 percent of the state as a whole, communities included in the study have one or more major institutions that establish or contribute to its “hub” status. Most are seats of county government (34 of 47); 20 are home to a four-year public or private college or university campus (five public and 15 private); and most (35) have at least one general hospital.
Smart city is the new buzzword when it comes to urban development. Cities around the world are looking at ways to transform into the next technologically advanced city.
As was discussed in a previous blog, more people are moving into cities again and those people want information. And who can blame them? Our society now can share information rapidly. Information that was once limited to only small group of people now can be seen by thousands, all within a matter of seconds.
Of course, with every positive of the smart city and massive sharing of information there are the negatives. With the ever-growing big brother concerns that the world is turning into a 1984 society, people want to know that their safety is not of a concern.
So how can you take steps to make your city smarter all while keeping the best interests of your residents?
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.
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.
By 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.
From big data to open data, the discussion of digital data is a hot topic for cities right now. And for good reason, digital data promises to improve decision making by understanding the health of our cities while increasing transparency to citizens and stakeholders. While the use of data has long played a critical role in cities, new technology continues to enable previously unimagined sources and uses of data.
In fact, researchers at IDC report that between 2005 and 2020, the world output of digital data will increase by a factor of 300. Connected sensors now exist in all corners of our cities, providing an almost endless stream of information from smart buildings, traffic sensors, parking sensors, and even citizens themselves. And the pace of deploying connected sensors will only continue, yielding an unfathomable increase in data in just the next 5 years. Yet, the use of this additional data in decision-making doesn’t seem to have caught up.