Smart Cities are Taking a New Approach to Measuring Progress

Smart Cities are Taking a New Approach to Measuring Progress

Communities have historically struggled to answer a basic but existential question: Are we becoming a better place for all citizens to live, work, and play?

After four months of research at mySidewalk—including in-depth interviews, workflow mapping, and design sprints with dozens of city leaders and analysts—it’s clear that smart cities will take a new approach to not only answer that question, but to ensure it’s a yes.

Top 4 Performance Measures for Mid-Size Cities

Top 4 Performance Measures for Mid-Size Cities

As city budgets continue to shrink, the pressure to be more efficient and purposeful with resources is ever mounting—and residents expect transparency around how city funds are used. Providing proof that positive changes emerge from money spent has never been more crucial. Increasingly, cities are forming performance management departments to track performance metrics and guide the betterment of city governments.

mySidewalk studied performance metrics used by 20 mid-size cities to uncover the most common performance measures; 4 categories emerged as metrics that are universally vital to tracking city progress.

mySidewalk Introduces Custom Reports: Turn Your Data Into an Interactive Story

mySidewalk Introduces Custom Reports: Turn Your Data Into an Interactive Story

Tired of pulling together clunky reports that feature various forms of data? Frustrated with last-minute, one-size-fits-all reporting requests that require the time and energy of several people? Go ahead and take a breath, because those days are over. mySidewalk’s new Reports feature gives you the power to quickly pull together a dynamic report that tells your city’s story—and you can adjust every Report to fit the topics most important to each stakeholder.

“It’s now fast and easy for us to pull reports together for developers looking at our community," said Jackie Krawczak, president & CEO of Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan. "We can also quickly and easily change reports on the spot—in real time, right in front of the developer if necessary. It’s that easy to use.”

Beyond Open Data Portals: How Cities are Building Stronger Futures by Harnessing Data

Beyond Open Data Portals: How Cities are Building Stronger Futures by Harnessing Data

It’s 2017, and many cities are now opening their data to the public. Though residents now have access to a lot of (often complicated) data, few know how to interpret it. City leaders are starting to realize that opening data is simply not enough—in order to increase resident satisfaction and transparency around city performance, they must harness this data, using it in their everyday communications. In this post, we hear from three city leaders who are actively harnessing data—and reaping positive community outcomes as a result.  

How DC Planners Used a Bikeshare Program to Reduce Traffic Congestion

How DC Planners Used a Bikeshare Program to Reduce Traffic Congestion

DC's first bikesharing program may have been a flop, but its successor program has managed to lift some traffic congestion. What made the current program successful, and what can other planners learn from DC's success? 

5 Simple Things You Can Do Make Your City More Walkable

5 Simple Things You Can Do Make Your City More Walkable

There has been a lot of talk about walkability recently. Research links walkability with safer, healthier communities, but obviously, not all cities currently enjoy highly walkable neighborhoods. The good news is that more and more cities are beginning to think seriously about investing in more walkable infrastructure. This trend is leading many planners and community leaders to consider questions like: How does one evaluate walkability in the first place? And what kinds of improvements can we make NOW? Both are great questions! To get started, below we’ve listed some simple ways to increase walkability in your city.

Three Quick Takeaways from the December 13 EPA Webinar

Three Quick Takeaways from the December 13 EPA Webinar

Strong, sustainable communities start with great decisions — and all good decisions are rooted in data. As people who plan, manage, and shape the cities we live in, where our decisions come from and how they’re made matters. But there’s a problem: This type of insight is notoriously difficult to access, analyze, and share.