By Data-Smart City Solutions • August 2, 2019

GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY: BALTIMORE’S 2020 CENSUS PLAN INCLUDES DIGITAL CAMPAIGN

In preparation for the first digital census, Baltimore is conducting significant community outreach, online campaigns, and partnerships with schools and immigration offices. The city had a significantly low response rate in 2010, and for every missed person cities can lose $1,800 in federal funding. Baltimore is recruiting bilingual ambassadors and community representatives to assist with hyper-local census collection and education, including social media outreach. 

 

STATE TECH: DC WATER TAPS AI AND CLOUD TO SAVE COSTS, IMPROVE INFRASTRUCTURE

In the District of Columbia, some sewers are more than 100 years old; those old pipes are at risk of expensive and damaging defects. Partnering with Microsoft, DC Water is using cloud and AI technology to proactively identify potential water main breaks and sewer overflows. These predictive analytics enable DC Water to be more proactive about repairs and disaster preparations. Also, as the system becomes more reliable, customer service and satisfaction in the District is improved. 

 

SMART CITIES WORLD: NEW YORK'S MTA TESTS HIGH-TECH SOLUTIONS FOR SUBWAY AND BUSES

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) launched a Transit Tech Lab accelerator program in 2018, to find companies that could help transform mobility in NYC and beyond. Four of those companies will now be conducting pilots for the city’s subway and bus systems, to make the rider experience more streamlined, pleasant, and efficient. Results from the pilots could be incorporated into the MTA’s usual service, and act as a model for smart tech mobility solutions. 

 

MUCKROCK: BUILDING GOVLENS, AN AUTOMATED .GOV ANALYSIS PLATFORM

The nonprofit, investigative news site MuckRock is building GovLens, a new platform for monitoring the security, accessibility, and speed of government websites. The site will create report cards for various government agencies, so residents can understand any security and accessibility issues, and compare technical abilities across jurisdictions. In creating a database and scoring government sites, GovLens can promote technological improvements in the security and usability of digital governance.  

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL: HOW A ‘SMART’ TRASH BIN CAN TRANSFORM CITY GARBAGE COLLECTION

City garbage collection can cost a lot of money and manual checking can waste a lot of time. Sensor-rigged trash bins alert maintenance workers when they need to be emptied, so workers can quickly take care of priority bins; Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation and Performance found a 50% reduction in trash collection hours during a smart bin pilot. Updates by various smart trash companies include sensors for odor and temperature, so trash collection can be even more targeted and efficient. 

 

SMART CITIES DIVE: 'WE'RE AS WEAK AS THE WEAKEST LINK': VIRGINIA LOOKS TO A STATEWIDE DATA GOVERNANCE POLICY

Cities and states across the country are increasingly being targeted by ransomware attacks. Virginia is trying to get ahead of any potential disruptions by doing data inventories, setting data governance policy, and creating a cybersecurity and policy plan. These changes will not only protect the state from malware and hackers, but also increase efficiency and decrease government spending. As an early adopter, Virginia hopes to drive the conversation about data governance and security.  

 

STATE SCOOP: LA CONTROLLER DEBUTS DATA-DRIVEN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

There are 1.3 million Angelenos under the age of 24 in Los Angeles, with 162 city youth programs. However, for the past ten years there hasn’t been a central office to provide oversight for these groups. The city controller wants a data-driven, comprehensive strategy to provide better youth services, specific support for at-risk populations, and more oversight of programs. Data would come from a variety of local, state, and federal sources, and some of the data would be mapped so youth could easily find nearby programs.