Each week we will bring you a summary of what happened this week on our site, on Twitter, and in the wider world of civic data. Suggest stories on Twitter with #ThisWeekInData.
Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and the city is continuing to develop smart technology to meet the needs of its millions of visitors each year. Transportation and public safety are two data priorities for Orlando, and the city government is investing in a broadband network that supports traffic from tourists and residents alike. For destination cities, smart city planning requires a unique approach in order to accommodate the fluctuation of visitors, while maintaining top-notch services and technology for permanent residents.
Ten cities have been chosen for or an 18-month economic mobility initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ballmer Group. The recipients are Newark, New Jersey; Rochester, New York; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Detroit and Lansing, Michigan; Racine, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Albuquerque, New Mexico and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Each one was picked for its strong intervention plans and commitment to data-driven solutions.
As a growing number of Americans identify as nonbinary, local and state government are finding ways to adapt gendered policies and forms to include folks who don’t fit into a male/female dichotomy. States such as Indiana and California allow nonbinary drivers licenses, and New York City provides gender-neutral birth certificates. Without uniform guidance, different locations have created different regulations; this can present challenges for nonbinary residents crossing state or city lines, but bureaucratic processes are slowly but surely adapting to accommodate.
When the Maryland Department of Human Services began to migration its benefits programs to the cloud, the department decided to use it as an opportunity to overhaul the old, convoluted application system. In order to break down the existing data silos, Maryland DHS has embarked on a five year transition process that involves building better integration, with plans to finish the project in 2021. The centerpiece of this work is the Child Juvenile & Adult Management System which will run as a single application for Maryland’s child welfare, juvenile justice and adult protective services.
This article discusses several examples of successful partnerships between civic tech communities and their local governments. Cities saw improved road safety, better reporting processes, and expedited social justice projects. Across the country, individuals with interest and talent are joining with cities to tackle complex data problems, and this article gives a few different ways local officials can link with civic tech organizations.
In comparing life spans within cities, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine found that 56 of the country’s 500 largest cities have discrepancies of at least 20 years across neighborhoods, despite being only a few blocks or miles away. Using data from NYU Langone Health’s City Health Dashboard, the researchers determined that zip code was a proxy for several determinants of health including air quality, green space, and food access. Now, armed with this data, cities can begin to address these staggering inequities.