Posts tagged with "Policy":

Smart Cities New York

Smart Cities New York (SCNY) is North America’s leading global conference exploring the emerging influence of cities in shaping the future. With the global smart city market expected to grow to $1.6 trillion within the next three years, Smart Cities New York is guided by the idea that smart cities are truly "Powered by People". The conference brings together thought leaders from public and private sectors, academia and NGOs to discuss investments in physical and digital infrastructure, health, education, sustainability, security, mobility, workforce development, and more, to ensure cities are central to advancing and improving urban life in the 21st century and beyond.
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Michael Bloomberg pledges to fund new American Cities Initiative

Speaking today at the United States Conference of Mayors in Miami, New York City’s former mayor, Michael Bloomberg, released plans for a $200 million program that will help fund innovative policy changes at the city level, as first reported by The New York Times. The program, called the American Cities Initiative, is funded through Bloomberg Philanthropies and will take place over the next three years. It’s a municipally-focused extension of Bloomberg’s existing advocacy for national policies, including climate change, gun violence, public health, and immigration. “You can argue that if people in cities use less energy, the coal-fired power plants outside the cities would pollute the air less,” he told the Times. “You can make the case that immigration is a city issue, because that’s where a lot of people live and work.” One of the major components of the initiative is a “Mayors Challenge,” a national competition where city mayors are invited to submit proposals for policy experimentation that addresses their respective city’s most urgent problems. The grand prize? $5 million. Four more cities will receive up to $1 million and 35 ‘Champion Cities’ will win up to $100,000 to test their ideas and build local support, according to the challenge’s website. Bloomberg has launched similar competitions before, but in Europe and Latin America. The former mayor has constantly been an aggressive advocate against President Donald Trump’s policies, especially regarding issues around climate change and immigration. In June, Bloomberg vowed to fight climate change in spite of Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord by pledging $15 million to the United Nations and gathering support at the city level. At the conference, Bloomberg said that the program is meant to "advance important policies and legislation particularly with respect to education, climate change, and public health,” according to Miami Patch. The support will vary by city; in some cases, it could be policy support to help improve energy efficiency, while others could be in the form of advocacy. This program comes at a crucial time when the Trump administration has proposed major funding cuts to government agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which cities usually rely on for money. In his interview with the Times, Bloomberg emphasized the increasing need for cities to “replace Washington, and in some cases, state governments, to provide services.”
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HUD Secretary Julian Castro to headline IDEAS CITY 2015 in New York City

Julian Castro, the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has been announced as the keynote speaker for the third annual IDEAS CITY festival in New York.  IDEAS CITY is a biennial street fair that “explores the future of cities with culture as a driving force.” It will launch its third annual rendition on May 28th–30th on the Bowery. Castro will address this year’s theme of “The Invisible City,” highlighting the parts of the city that go unseen, or the forces that are driving change that are not always easy to map. Castro was appointed Secretary of HUD in July, after gaining notoriety as not only an up-and-coming Democratic mayor of San Antonio, who has been mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential candidate in the 2016 race, but also as a strong advocate and innovator in urban policy with a design slant. From the IDEAS CITY website:

As three-term mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro was known for innovative governance. His “Decade of Downtown” program campaigned for new investments in San Antonio’s city center and older communities and brought in $350 million of private sector money, generating more than 2,400 housing units. In 2010, Castro was enrolled in the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders and named by Time magazine as one of its “40 under 40” list of notable leaders in American politics. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, he became the first Latino to deliver a keynote. Castro took office as the sixteenth Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 28, 2014.

This year’s festival promises to be an energetic follow-up to the previous years under the direction of Joseph Grima, who has been involved in no less than three Biennials in the last year, including Chicago’s Architecture Biennial and Biennale Interieur in Belgium. IDEAS CITY is also a partnership of The New Museum (Founder), The Architectural League of New York, Bowery Poetry Club, The Cooper Union, Storefront for Art & Architecture, The Drawing Center. Some of the other events that stand out are: —IDEAS CITY Street ProgramInstitute for Public Architecture: Total ResetKurt Andersen, Carmen Yulín Cruz, and others: MAYORAL CONVERSATION: Finding The Invisible CityRhizome: AIRBNB Pavilion: Stay With MeKim Stanley Robinson, Bjarke Ingels: Make No Little Plans: A CONVERSATION IN TWO PARTS:Part 1. Toward A Plausible UtopiaMunicipal Art Society, Architizer: Pitching the CityManny Cantor Center, Laura Nova: Moving Stories
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Help! Only Two Votes Needed To Fix California’s Infill Policy

Okay, let's take advantage of this Democracy thing, folks... Today you have the rare opportunity to shape urban planning policy in California by convincing a few swing voters in the state's Senate to support AB 710, the Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011. Apparently the bill is two votes shy of passage. If passed it would do a number of things to improve the state's sprawling urban development policy, including... The  bill would encourage development on small lots in urban areas near transit corridors; it would require planning agencies to adopt regional transportation plans aimed at achieving balanced, coordinated, and planet-friendly transit systems; and it would prohibit cities and counties from requiring a minimum parking standard greater than one parking space per 1,000 square feet of nonresidential improvements. So write to the following assembly-people and tell them to vote YES: Senator Alex PadillaCurren PriceCarol Liu, Kevin de Leon, Fran Pavley and Ron Calderon. Don't just sit there, start emailing!