When Governments Go Social, Positive Citizen Experiences Can Follow | A Smarter Planet Blog
Today a growing number of cities and counties are embracing social technologies to create “Smart Communities.” According to the World Foundation for Smart Communities, these are communities that make a “conscious effort to use information technology to transform life and work within a region in significant and fundamental, rather than incremental, ways. This transformation is beneficial to the community and attracts local participation and cooperation among community groups, government, business and education.”

When Governments Go Social, Positive Citizen Experiences Can Follow | A Smarter Planet Blog

Today a growing number of cities and counties are embracing social technologies to create “Smart Communities.” According to the World Foundation for Smart Communities, these are communities that make a “conscious effort to use information technology to transform life and work within a region in significant and fundamental, rather than incremental, ways. This transformation is beneficial to the community and attracts local participation and cooperation among community groups, government, business and education.”

Creating a More Efficient Streamlined Government with Citizen Collaboration | Citizen IBM 

The ever-growing pace of urbanization brings many challenges to government organizations, including increased demands for services with reduced sources of revenue, and calls for more accountability, openness and transparency. Forward thinking public sector leaders know that they can – and must – convene the right people, technologies and strategies to support growth and prosperity. Simultaneously, they also must ensure a safe and healthy environment in which their citizens may enjoy a high quality of life.

Enabling growth and prosperity requires collaboration – across boundaries and among organizations and departments – in ways that might have been previously unthinkable. Technological improvements are enabling governments to share not only big machines like backhoes and emergency vehicles, but also services, big data analytics and computing capabilities.

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: About the Challenge: Newark, NJ
Mayor Booker asked the IBM team to find transformational opportunities in cost savings and revenue generation, as well as overall citizen and business experience with government. The IBM team produced a transformational framework for actionable improvement in Newark in both immediate and mid- to long-term time frames. The transformational framework included strategies for paperwork reduction, inter-departmental efficiency improvements, and citizen self-service opportunities. 

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: About the Challenge: Newark, NJ

Mayor Booker asked the IBM team to find transformational opportunities in cost savings and revenue generation, as well as overall citizen and business experience with government. The IBM team produced a transformational framework for actionable improvement in Newark in both immediate and mid- to long-term time frames. The transformational framework included strategies for paperwork reduction, inter-departmental efficiency improvements, and citizen self-service opportunities. 

Many city governments around the world are encouraging agriculture in urban areas—so long as it stays small scale and doesn’t challenge the status quo. Mike Duff argues that cities must learn to embrace ‘urban ag’ social movements as a way to engage citizens in shaping their own cities, and encourage these movements to scale up to reduce the power of ‘big food’ businesses to subvert planning processes. The key challenge will be regulation—cities should create a new land use designation entitled ‘urban agricultural use’ to accommodate a healthy balance between urban lifestyles and urban farming.

Governments don’t lead revolutions. People do. The saying ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’ sums the scenario up, because most often it’s the individuals, communities and nations experiencing the toughest challenges that pioneer the most radical innovations.

Melissa Sterry envisages Earth 2.0. Read the full interview on This Big City.

New Yorkers:

NYC.gov is back up and running and is optimized for heavy traffic with essential information about Hurricane Irene on the homepage.

You can also get breaking updates by following @NYCMayorsOffice and @NotifyNYC on Twitter and going to the Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook page, all of which will be updated throughout the weekend and accessible if NYC.gov experiences downtime.

nycdigital:

(via smarterplanet)

Today, municipalities and citizens more than ever need to understand their patterns of behavior and how to change them. Whether it is in water consumption, traffic patterns or energy use, they need new technologies to enable the change. Our sustainability initiatives in Dubuque prove that, by using advanced analytics, community engagement, and cloud computing, government officials and citizens will have access to real-time data to alter their patterns of behavior, which will save them money. This water sustainability pilot case is a template for communities worldwide that seek to conserve various types of resources.

Quote by Milind Naphade, program director, smarter city services, IBM Research.  Quote found at "Dubuque, Iowa and IBM Combine Analytics, Cloud Computing and Community Engagement to Conserve Water"
The power of analytics for public sector: Building analytics competency to accelerate outcomes 
Complex societal, economic, political and environmental pressures are  placing intense demands on public sector organizations to make smarter  decisions, deliver results and demonstrate accountability.
An unprecedented “information explosion” both facilitates and  complicates the ability of governments and institutions to achieve and  influence desirable outcomes. A tremendous opportunity exists to use the  growing mountain of data to make better fact-based decisions. Yet, the  volume of data and its increasingly diverse and interactive nature can  also paralyze organizations as they try to separate the noteworthy from  the not-worthy.
Download the executive summary (786KB)
Register to download the complete IBM Institute for Business Value executive report 
via smarterplanet:

The power of analytics for public sector: Building analytics competency to accelerate outcomes

Complex societal, economic, political and environmental pressures are placing intense demands on public sector organizations to make smarter decisions, deliver results and demonstrate accountability.

An unprecedented “information explosion” both facilitates and complicates the ability of governments and institutions to achieve and influence desirable outcomes. A tremendous opportunity exists to use the growing mountain of data to make better fact-based decisions. Yet, the volume of data and its increasingly diverse and interactive nature can also paralyze organizations as they try to separate the noteworthy from the not-worthy.

via smarterplanet:

Federal Government To Teach Employees How To Use Green Buildings

LEED buildings don’t work on their own. Employee education is key.

Well, this is timely. Just yesterday, I wrote an article about consumer relationships to their green homes, pointing out the education gap that contractors should fill. It appears that the federal government already decided it was a good idea to educate users on how green buildings function.
 

According to the Federal Times, the House and Senate have each passed a piece of legislation that requires certification of employees who manage federal green buildings. The 2010 Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act requires the General Services Administration to identify the “core skills needed to manage a federal building” and to create a certification process for employees.

(read more)

For a city to offer smart services and save money, its departments have to work closely together, share their data and use a common IT infrastructure. London, for instance, has different payment systems for public transport, bicycle hire and toll roads. Such fragmentation is costly and makes it more difficult to come up with new offers (say, reducing the congestion charge for those who often hire a bicycle). But getting a city’s islands of bureaucracy to work together tends to be difficult, says Mark Cleverley of IBM, who helps governments and cities develop plans for smart systems. The problem is not just that departments often jealously protect their data, something experts call TEP, as in “turf, ego and power”. Officials also lack a common language or generally agreed criteria for a smart city—which is a big issue, too, for the many companies that are usually involved in a project. “It’s hard to build a business case if people don’t understand each other,” says Simon Giles, in charge of strategy for smart technologies at Accenture. Things are easier in Singapore. Ministries and agencies compete for reputation and resources, but they also co-operate closely on implementing master plans such as “A Lively and Liveable Singapore: Strategies for Sustainable Growth”, the city-state’s roadmap to becoming smart. That helps to explain why Singapore will probably be the first city to combine its various smart systems into a single one.