A new report opens global dialogue.
Open source – the free license and universal access to information – has become a staple of the digital age. While the principal has been a part of scientific enterprises since the 19th century, sharing of proprietary information is increasingly entering the civic realm. Museums are curating archives and exhibitions online, universities are investing in massive online open courses or MOOCs. The New Media Consortium (NMC) annual report noted: “It is now the mark—and social responsibility—of world-class institutions to develop and share free cultural and educational resources.” Why not cities as well?
Cities are hotspots of innovation, but often the innovations of city building – how policy makers solve the challenging problems of their own city – do not reach other cities in similar contexts. Earlier this summer NYC-based Center for an Urban Future and NYU Wagner released Innovation and the City – Part II, a follow up to an initial report published in June of this year. The report sets out to create an inventory of practical and effective municipal solutions drawing from successful experiments in North American cities (and other world cities). Microgrids used in Sendai Japan to alleviate power outages and new levies implemented in London to support sustainable infrastructure, are two examples of scalable solutions highlighted in the report. These and the other case studies “defy traditional categories, and appeal to a diverse set of needs” and are intended to offer practical solutions to “policymakers in similarly situated cities.”
Underpinning this brief is an aspiration to open a global dialogue where all cities share information and collectively solve urban challenges.
What solutions could your city offer to fellow cities?
[Top Image: Paul Butler]