IBM Smarter Cities Challenge to support Freedom Rings initiative: Mayor Nutter 
Nearly half a million dollars in consulting and technology support from IBM that yesterday were pledged to the City of Philadelphia are more about education than gadgets.
The Smarter Cities Challenge, announced fall 2010, is a three-year  initiative from IBM that will spread $50 million in services and tools  to 100 city governments in the world. In the next six months, a half  dozen consultants from IBM will start landing in Philadelphia and 23  other cities in this the first year of the Smarter Cities Challenge.  Philadelphia is the largest of eight U.S. cities chosen in this round.

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge to support Freedom Rings initiative: Mayor Nutter

Nearly half a million dollars in consulting and technology support from IBM that yesterday were pledged to the City of Philadelphia are more about education than gadgets.

The Smarter Cities Challenge, announced fall 2010, is a three-year initiative from IBM that will spread $50 million in services and tools to 100 city governments in the world. In the next six months, a half dozen consultants from IBM will start landing in Philadelphia and 23 other cities in this the first year of the Smarter Cities Challenge. Philadelphia is the largest of eight U.S. cities chosen in this round.

The place for me: A view of Philadelphia from Glenwood Green Acres, a community garden run by the city in the Susquehanna neighborbood. Photo: Tony the Misfit
Philadelphia’s urban-farming roots go deep—and are spreading wide | Feeding the City | Grist
Philadelphia has long been a gardeners’ paradise, by East Coast standards anyway. The City of Brotherly Love enjoys relatively short winters and extended fall and spring seasons that aren’t so wet and warm that they invite plagues of the pests that rule farther south. It’s not surprising then that urban agriculture has deep roots here — ones planted long before the recent national renaissance. But Philly’s homegrown ag movement isn’t just about getting more local produce into farmers markets. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) It’s focused on farming as a source of jobs and skills for city residents as well as a means to provide them affordable, healthy food. The city is known among food advocates as providing the model for President Obama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative to eliminate so-called “food deserts,” or areas without access to affordable, fresh food. Like its inspiration, Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative — which has helped establish more than 80 grocery stores throughout the state — the administration’s plan would provide low-cost loans to finance grocery stores and supermarkets across the country.

The place for me: A view of Philadelphia from Glenwood Green Acres, a community garden run by the city in the Susquehanna neighborbood. Photo: Tony the Misfit

Philadelphia’s urban-farming roots go deep—and are spreading wide | Feeding the City | Grist

Philadelphia has long been a gardeners’ paradise, by East Coast standards anyway. The City of Brotherly Love enjoys relatively short winters and extended fall and spring seasons that aren’t so wet and warm that they invite plagues of the pests that rule farther south. It’s not surprising then that urban agriculture has deep roots here — ones planted long before the recent national renaissance. But Philly’s homegrown ag movement isn’t just about getting more local produce into farmers markets. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) It’s focused on farming as a source of jobs and skills for city residents as well as a means to provide them affordable, healthy food. The city is known among food advocates as providing the model for President Obama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative to eliminate so-called “food deserts,” or areas without access to affordable, fresh food. Like its inspiration, Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative — which has helped establish more than 80 grocery stores throughout the state — the administration’s plan would provide low-cost loans to finance grocery stores and supermarkets across the country.

adriennemae:

“Here’s a great example of forward-thinking urban planning: a downtown, all-in-one bicycle parking facility that prioritizes human-powered transportation. The competition entry BIKE for the Delaware Valley Green Building Council by architect Annie Scheel recently won first place - and for good reason. It’s a proposal would not only reduce urban congestion and pollution in downtown Philadelphia, but also would include all the bike-related bells and whistles, making the bike a more attractive choice for city commuters.”

More: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/how-bike-parking-facility-could-replace-downtown-parking-lot.php

SeeClickFix Your Way through Philly’s Nor’easter


(photo taken by SCF user Rich at 1842 Gladstone St., Philadelphia)

(photo taken by SCF user Rich at 1842 Gladstone St., Philadelphia)

Snowed-in in Philly?
SeeClickFix has your back.

Check out the custom widget that Philly.com generated so that residents of the City of Brotherly Love can make sure their streets get plowed. SCF’s Philly community has been buzzing all day, as fixers around the city continue to fill up their watch areas with locations in need of plowing.

SCF wishes the best of luck to all our users in Philly, as they brave their city’s second biggest blizzard on record!

To Do More With Less, Governments Go Digital

"New York has been a pioneer among cities in the use of computing firepower to sift through data to improve services. It began in the 1990s with the city’s CompStat system for mapping, identifying and predicting crime. The system, combined with new policing practices, reduced crime rates in New York and was later adopted by Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore and other cities.

In 2002, the city began its “311” telephone number for answering questions about government services and to report problems down to missing manhole covers. The service receives 50,000 calls a day, and earlier this year began operating on the Web as well. Complaints, response times and resolved problems are tracked and measured to improve performance.

In 2006, the city began an online service, NYC Business Express, to make it easier and faster to start a business. The average time to obtain a building permit, for example, has been cut to 7 days from 40. Such seemingly mundane improvements can add up to big gains in the efficiency of government service systems, experts say, nurturing productivity and growth in local economies. The process, they say, is similar to “lean manufacturing,” a system first mastered by Toyota in which step-by-step changes on the factory floor, made repeatedly, translate into major advances in quality and productivity.”

NY Times, Steve Lohr  Oct. 10th