Blog : The Innovative City

Vacant Spaces to Happening Places

Vacant Spaces to Happening Places

Top Main Image: The Newton in Phoenix (Changing Hands Bookstore, First Draft Book Bar, Southern Rail, Southwest Gardener),
Developed by Venue Projects. Image courtesy of The Newton

by Kimber Lanning, Executive Director, Local First Arizona // 

Vacant Spaces to Happening Places | The Case for Preservation and Reuse
In the current race to create high quality jobs, retain local talent and attract great companies, several American cities are looking closely at the kinds of places educated workers want to live. Rather than solely focusing on tax incentives or other strategies to entice the desired companies, they are instead focusing on building great places where those companies want to be. According to the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), an increasing number of workers have been choosing their city before their job and now more than ever, companies are reluctant to relocate to cities that have a dry, homogenized or suburban feel to them, no matter how large the financial incentives are. The workers, and Millennials in particular, are actually driving location by voicing loudly the kinds of places they’d want to consider home. In a recent study, AIER cited 70 percent of young college graduates decide where to relocate based on quality-of-life factors such as robust restaurant scene and good mass transit, rather than economic conditions.

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Improving City Engagement With Gamification

Improving City Engagement With Gamification

Your city has started making progress to become smarter, but now what? Making the strides to move your city forward is already a large task but once that is done, the next challenge begins — finding ways to engage businesses and your citizens.

Gamification is a relatively new term. Per the always trusted Merriam-Webster dictionary, gamification is “the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.”

Now, everyone from companies running trade-shows to large cities are looking towards gamification to present information in a new way.

Incorporating gamification in your city may seem to be a daunting task, but it can be an easy addition for you and can have benefits for your city’s businesses and citizens as well.

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Making Your City Smarter Isn’t as Hard as You Think

Making Your City Smarter Isn’t as Hard as You Think

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?

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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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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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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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