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Latin American Cities in the Age of AI: Navigating the Technological Revolution


AI will continue to permeate and transform cities. With the right guidelines, it will allow governments to improve citizen engagement, reduce tax fraud, and optimize energy, mobility, and waste management systems.

Cities and Communities

Centering Community Needs Through Public Housing


Radically expanding public housing enables us to prioritize affordability, livability, and community governance—a sustainable alternative to the current for-profit system.

Think Global, Act Local: European Cities on the Front Lines of Climate Action


Upon her election as chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in 2016, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo declared, “C40 member cities are determining the course of our planet’s future.”[1] (C40 is a group of more than 90 cities organized to combat climate change at the municipal level.[2]) Indeed, as societies become increasingly urbanized, the […]

Environment and Energy

A Million-Ton Disaster: America’s Recycling is Trash


BY LISA SETRAKIAN What happens to your recycling when the noisy, traffic-inducing truck picks it up each week? If you are like me, you picture it arriving at a nearby plant and then magically getting reincarnated. The reality is more complicated. First, our recycling is cleaned, sorted, and packaged into bales at local Materials Recovery […]

Partisanship is Nothing New for Mayors: An Interview with former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu


INTERVIEW BY KEVIN FRAZIER Former Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu (2010-2018) knows what it means to govern amid scarce resources and divisive politics. So it comes as no surprise that many think he would make a competitive candidate for president in 2020. Whether or not he enters the race, what’s clear is that America […]

Misplaced Hope? Cities and the Future of American Democracy


BY QUINTON MAYNE For many Americans, cities have become a beacon of hope. The can-do, eye-level politics of our city halls is increasingly viewed as an antidote to what seems like a culture of top-down, self-serving, and polarizing party politics inside the Beltway. An important question then is whether city leaders will live up to […]

Minibonds: Putting the Public Back in Public Finance


BY SARAH TESAR AND PITICHOKE CHULAPAMORNSRI The people of San Francisco, hoping to transform their city into a bustling economic metropolis, built the Golden Gate Bridge to connect two previously divided urban areas. During the peak of the Great Depression, the city issued forty-year municipal bonds that paid 5% interest in order to finance the […]

Four Ways Cities Can Do Economic Development Better


BY JOE LEE For decades, Times Square was severely congested, prone to pedestrian accidents, and lacking spaces to rest. In 2008, New York City sought to tackle these problems by mapping the diversity and number of human activities that occurred there. It traced walking patterns to identify “pedestrians’ desire lines” in relation to sidewalks and […]

Securing the Smart City


BY BENJAMIN GOH In 2015, Business Insider magazine predicted ten million self-driving vehicles will be on US roads in the next five years.[i] While many people are eagerly awaiting the ability to read, eat, or check email as their cars themselves do the driving, this raises a whole host of critical questions. Who is at fault if […]

The Dirty World of Ranking Cities


BY SAM SALKIN Cities differ vastly from one another. That’s probably too obvious of a statement. During the summer of 2015, I worked for a non-profit consulting firm advising cities around the world on how to solve the nasty issues plaguing their citizen’s quality of life. One of our clients, a major European city, came […]

Participatory Budgeting: Reimagining Civic Engagement in the City of Boston


BY CROSBY BURNS A preliminary version of this post originally appeared on the Ash Center’s Challenges to Democracy blog Last year the City of Boston unveiled its plans to devote a portion of its capital budget towards a participatory budget, a social innovation that aims to reimagine citizen engagement, the appropriations process, and democratic participation. […]

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