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July 18, 2012

How can technology provide useful insights in how cities function? How can this contribute to more informed planning? How does this impact society? The multidisciplinary conference, City of Flows, last week in Potsdam, Germany, explored these questions last week, providing unique“perspectives on the digital city in analog spaces”. I was fortunate to attend the conference and came away with many reflections concerning mapping and visualization of geographical data and the effects this technology has on society. 

How can technology provide useful insights in how cities function? How can this contribute to more informed planning? How does this impact society? The multidisciplinary conference, City of Flows, last week in Potsdam, Germany, explored these questions last week, providing unique“perspectives on the digital city in analog spaces”. I was fortunate to attend the conference and came away with many reflections concerning mapping and visualization of geographical data and the effects this technology has on society.

May 9, 2012

This week a broad cross-section of America’s (and the world’s) best urban planners, designers, thinkers and doers will be gathering in West Palm Beach for the 20th annual Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU20). Even if you were unable to attend this event, you’ll have the chance to participate by following the CNU 20 buzz (Twitter hashtag #cnu20) of attendees as they work to craft hands-on solutions that will vitalize our neighborhoods, cities and towns.

May 8, 2012

The CNU 20 conference is begins next week (May 9-12), and as a media partner with Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), EngagingCities is excited to be able to bring you live streaming of some highly anticipated sessions from CNU20, directly from our site.  So, even if you couldn't make the conference this year, you can still participate by listening in to the Friday night Plenary with Richard Florida here.

Editor's Note: This event has concluded; live stream may no longer be available. Check back here, or on cnu20.org, for archive link to this recorded session.


Friday Night Plenary with Richard Florida

April 25, 2012

Recently, I posted an article on the Living Labs Global blog, Report on Mobility, which prompted someone to comment on the distinction between open data and actual information.  Raw data are valuable, but the information synthesized from the data is golden.  My experiences this summer continue to highlight the need not only for better data, but also for better information.


March 14, 2012

It is often through art and cultural activities that community members find an outlet for expression, preserve their past, and enrich their future. Recently, a link has been found between levels of direct government funding for culture and levels of public engagement in culture.

It is often through art and cultural activities that community members find an outlet for expression, preserve their past, and enrich their future. Recently, a link has been found between levels of direct government funding for culture and levels of public engagement in culture.

In a study from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, rates of public attendance of cultural events between European countries seem to be related to levels of government spending on culture.

February 16, 2012

Can you imagine today’s world without location-based technology? It’s everywhere—in augmented reality apps for smartphones, GPS systems in our cars, urban transportation systems, and with public participation (ie. Gov 2.0) and visualisation web portals. In the past year, EngagingCities alone has dedicated over twenty posts to the subject of GIS in planning, with a 2012 location-based article series in the works as we speak. This being said, getting a handle on the multitude of planning related geospacial platforms and tools out there isn't easy, especially considering the rapid rate at which this technology is evolving.

February 8, 2012

We see them every day, popping up on our Twitter feeds, filtered through blogs, or even scattered throughout the New York Times: maps portraying not the usual locations or destinations, but data. From people’s kisses in Toronto, to the concentration of pizza joints in New York, to the number of women who ride bikes, to the likelihood of being killed by a car in any given American city, the list of lenses through which we can now view our cities and neighborhoods goes on, thanks to data-mapping geeks.



Editor's Note: Christine McLaren is the resident blogger for the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile think tank investigating solutions to urban problems. In October the project wrapped up its three-month run in New York City, and will travel next to Berlin, and on to Mumbai. This story, titled New cartographers: How citizen mapmakers are changing the story of our lives originally appeared on the Lab's blog.

January 30, 2012

In 2009 we had an idea, to bring together a group of global cities to share their challenges with the international technology community. Our hypothesis was that a solution to any challenge is out there already, and that by finding it we can learn and avoid re-inventing the wheel. Since then, the Living Labs Global Award has become the world’s most significant call for solutions, in its current edition 21 global cities call for technologies to improve the lives of 110 Million citizens.



EngagingCities is supported by Living Labs Global and CityMart.com, which helps cities to articulate challenges, and matching those with technologies and solutions around the world that can rapidly improve lives of millions of citizens.

January 27, 2012

On May 2/3 2012 the Living Labs Global Award will culminate in an Award Ceremony, a Matchmaking Summit and an Executive Training Workshop to bring solution providers and cities together and enable the dialogue around major urban challenges. The Living Labs Global Award Ceremony will take place on the eve of the Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Cities on May 2nd 2012. 21 Cities will present the shortlist and winners for their challenges in a festive ceremony.

On May 2/3 2012 the Living Labs Global Award will culminate in an Award Ceremony, a Matchmaking Summit and an Executive Training Workshop to bring solution providers and cities together and enable the dialogue around major urban challenges.

The Living Labs Global Award Ceremony will take place on the eve of the Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Cities on May 2nd 2012. 21 Cities will present the shortlist and winners for their challenges in a festive ceremony.

January 3, 2012

Carl Steinitz, professor of landscape architecture at Harvard University, first described how the GeoDesign Framework worked by posing it as a series of six questions relevant to landscape change.  The first three questions describe the world as it is and assess its condition (the assessment process). The last three questions describe the world as it could be, evaluating proposed design alternatives and their impacts (the intervention process).

Carl Steinitz, professor of landscape architecture at Harvard University, first described how the GeoDesign Framework worked by posing it as a series of six questions relevant to landscape change.  The first three questions describe the world as it is and assess its condition (the assessment process). The last three questions describe the world as it could be, evaluating proposed design alternatives and their impacts (the intervention process).

December 22, 2011

In the lead up to Christmas, a time of giving and community spirit, it seems only fitting we look at one of the big urban trends of 2011, collaborative urbanism. Also known as ‘tactical urbanism’, ‘do it yourself’, and ‘lighter, quicker, cheaper’, collaborative urbanism describes community activated place making. Its about community led revitalization and the way in which it starts locally but has the potential to impact on a global audience.

In the lead up to Christmas, a time of giving and community spirit, it seems only fitting we look at one of the big urban trends of 2011, collaborative urbanism.

Also known as ‘tactical urbanism’, ‘do it yourself’, and ‘lighter, quicker, cheaper’, collaborative urbanism describes community activated place making. Its about community led revitalization and the way in which it starts locally but has the potential to impact on a global audience.

December 19, 2011

Each spring, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) hosts an Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony to celebrate the hard work of our membership and thank their partners for their continued commitment to neighborhoods.

Each spring, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) hosts an Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony to celebrate the hard work of our membership and thank their partners for their continued commitment to neighborhoods.

About the Summit:

October 28, 2011

Governments around the world are all facing budget shortfalls, spending cuts and reduced services. All of us — ordinary citizens, elected officials and community leaders — know that we must make dramatic changes to solve these crises, and yet governments remain gridlocked. How do we move beyond this impasse? How do we create an approach to budgeting that is both participatory and scalable? The answer is serious games!

IAP2 NorCal Chapter Event

Governments around the world are all facing budget shortfalls, spending cuts and reduced services. All of us — ordinary citizens, elected officials and community leaders — know that we must make dramatic changes to solve these crises, and yet governments remain gridlocked. How do we move beyond this impasse? How do we create an approach to budgeting that is both participatory and scalable? The answer is serious games!

October 17, 2011

A new series of free workshops on smart growth development are catching the attention of policy makers and community leaders across the country. The set of 12 workshops are designed to show local leaders how smart growth strategies can support a local economy and protect the environment while preserving the character of a town and making it more attractive to visitors or new residents.

A new series of free workshops on smart growth development are catching the attention of policy makers and community leaders across the country.

The set of 12 workshops, run by Smart Growth America and several partner organizations, are designed to show local leaders how smart growth strategies can support a local economy and protect the environment while preserving the character of a town and making it more attractive to visitors or new residents.

October 10, 2011

Communities across the country are celebrating National Community Planning Month this October. The month long “event”, sponsored by the American Planning Association (APA), its members, chapters, divisions, and professional institute, was developed to recognize the vital role of planners and planning in communities throughout the U.S. At EngagingCities, we have been encouraged historically by the amount of participation we’ve seen with this celebration at a local level here in Colorado. We are excited to see what is in store for 2011’s celebrations around the nation.

September 9, 2011

August 29, 2011

When it came time to engage citizens in a recent Master Planning process, the City of Lowell, Massachusetts opted for an unorthodox approach: an interactive online game. In order to engage a diverse population, the city partnered with Emerson College researchers to debut a newly developed participatory planning tool for the first time in June 2011.


This article is brought to you by Planning & Technology Today, the American Planning Association (APA) Technology Division’s quarterly magazine, which links planning professionals with an interest in the use of technology in land use planning and community development.

August 15, 2011

Smart cities don’t happen by accident.  To help planners and policy makers better understand and manage the dynamic behavior of cities, IBM Global Business Services is introducing new analytics software and services based on their “smarter cities” strategy.  System Dynamics for Smarter Cities is an interactive model that allows leaders to observe how the core systems of a city -- such as the economy, housing, education, public safety, transportation, health care, government services and utilities -- work together and affect one another. 

July 25, 2011

Eastern Kentucky University and the City of Richmond will host the International Town and Gown Association’s seventh annual University-City Relations Conference in 2012.

Eastern Kentucky University and the City of Richmond will host the International Town and Gown Association’s seventh annual University-City Relations Conference in 2012.

June 9, 2011

There’s recently been discussion and debate surrounding the attempts of neighborhood news aggregates to build out automated collections of local news, events, blog trends, and discussions -- sites like Fwix, EveryBlock, and Outside.in being the most prominent examples.  But in order to remain vibrant, the sites must achieve the right mix of publicity, monetization, good content, and attractive presentation -- and unfortunately, it seems that none of the hyper-local news providers are hitting that magic mix.

June 5, 2011

I have always been impressed with the substantial body of public participation (P2) knowledge and experience that resides in the urban planning profession. This will be my third year chairing the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Core Values Awards, and each year IAP2 has received high quality urban planning projects from around the world. It got me thinking that public participation practitioners in any sector have lots to learn from their colleagues in urban planning.

I have always been impressed with the substantial body of public participation (P2) knowledge and experience that resides in the urban planning profession. This will be my third year chairing the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Core Values Awards, and each year IAP2 has received high quality urban planning projects from around the world. It got me thinking that public participation practitioners in any sector have lots to learn from their colleagues in urban planning.

March 2, 2011

New York City rang in the new year with a new internal innovation software platform.  A division of Spigit’s idea management platform, “Simplicity” is being adopted city-wide in a two-phase roll-out that will eventually include all 300,000 New York City employees.

New York City rang in the new year with a new internal innovation software platform.  A division of Spigit’s idea management platform, “Simplicity” is being adopted city-wide in a two-phase roll-out that will eventually include all 300,000 New York City employees.  The city hopes to harness the software to overcome communication barriers across its many departments, improve collaboration and generate innovative ideas from the people who know the inner workings of the city best.