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Category Archives: smart cities

Event Roundup: 4 Things I Learned at the 2019 National Planning Conference

Jason Christensen
high risers
Last week, city planners from across the country descended on San Francisco, CA for one of the largest planning conferences of the year – the 2019 National Planning Conference – hosted by the American Planning Association. As an attendee and exhibitor, I wanted to share some of the highlights from the show, along with some of my key learnings. Learning 1: The Downtown Paradigm Shift 15-20 years ago, one major concern for city planners was rescuing downtown areas. Today, however, this is no longer an issue. Yet due to evolving urban demographics and emerging technology, planners are being presented with a new set of unique challenges and opportunities,… Continue reading

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Leadership in 2019: Why Cities Need to Rethink Digital Services

Gary Kovacs
Leadership in 2019: Why Cities Need to Rethink Digital Services

An Open Letter to Mayors and Local Leaders: Leading the Decisive Shift in Government Innovation

Editor’s note: The National League of Cities published this article originally on its CitiesSpeak blog in advance of its 2019 Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C., from March 10-13. The original post can be found here. With changing technologies and higher constituent demands, cities and state leaders are trying to move faster to build more intimate and meaningful relationships with their constituents. There is pressure to deliver digital services more effectively as a result of online consumerism. Technological change is accelerating at an exponential rate due to industries built around innovation…. Continue reading

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Digitize Your Government: 4 Benefits of Modern Planning and Building Tools

Accela
The pressure on planning and building departments is constant. They must oversee private development to ensure communities are safe. They prepare for escalating demands on infrastructure, review development plans, inspect building methods and materials, and navigate a labyrinth of incoming applications, approvals and information requests. To meet these needs many departments are modernizing, leaning on technology to fill service gaps, speed up processes and make services more accessible to residents. Yet the larger benefits of digital tools are not always apparent. Digitizing workflows and the logistics behind planning and building applications has the power to seed new opportunities for local governments to create a higher quality of life for residents…. Continue reading

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How Digital Transformation Can Spur Economic Growth

Accela
economic development, permitting
Late in 2014, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the launch of Boston 2030, a 15-year strategy to create 53,000 units of housing across demographics and neighborhoods, and effectively plan for anticipated growth at a scale the city has not seen for more than 50 years. Boston isn’t alone in anticipating growth. According to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, his city permitted a record $2 billion in development in 2014. Additionally, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2015 Metro Jobs Forecast, all 363 metro areas in the U.S. will see future job growth. Meanwhile, the National Association of Counties (NACo) reports that job growth accelerated in 2014,… Continue reading

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Federal Hemp Legislation Sets Stage for Local Regulation

Jason Shueh

The legalization of hemp at the federal level will provide new opportunities for food products and medications but also brings new regulatory challenges

Just before the close of 2018 the cannabis industry locked in another major victory with the passage of the Farm Bill that will, among other policy measures, legalize hemp cultivation and compel state and local governments to regulate a market estimated to hit $20 billion by 2022. The implications of the bill for local governments are significant, as it brings opportunities for additional revenues via business licensing and sales tax revenues, but also the inherent technical and political challenges found in regulating a new market…. Continue reading

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El Paso County Fights Food Poisoning with Data

Accela

The Colorado County Uses Accela for Environmental Health to Inform Residents About High Risk Restaurants and Spot Food Inspections Issues

(Alpha / Flickr) Whether it’s craft beer at Oskar Blues, rigatoni at Red Gravy or gluten-free sweets at Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery, the cooks in Colorado Springs have a dish for almost any visitor. Yet with roughly 23 million tourists visiting the mountain town each year, food inspectors have made safety a top priority by using smart city tools like data analytics and mobile technologies to monitor compliance.Sitting near famous outdoor sites like Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods National Natural Landmark Park,… Continue reading

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Accela 2018 Trendsetter Awards Honor Government Innovators

Accela

State and Local Agencies Showcase Digital Innovation Initiatives at the Accelarate Trendsetter Awards

After three days of keynote talks, breakout sessions, panels, product demos and networking, officials in government technology space closed Accelarate, Accela’s customer conference, by honoring agencies and individuals that had made an impact in their communities.On Friday, Accela’s Chief Product Officer Jonathan “J.K.” Knight announced the winners of this year’s Trendsetter Awards at the Atlanta CNN Center. Awardees represented a divers mix of cities and counties from across the U.S. Each distinguishing themselves in the innovative ways they leveraged Accela’s Civic Platform to improve services and the lives of residents.Under the theme of “Governing the Future together,”… Continue reading

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How SaaS Opens Doors for Innovative Staffing and Leadership

Jason Shueh

Learn How the Cloud and SaaS Can Enhance State and City Recruitment Efforts

Hiring top IT talent has always been the bane of government and today it is even harder as technologies evolve, budgets shrink and a wave of baby boomers finish their careers. The AARP estimates there are approximately 10,000 baby boomers turning 65, retirement age, every single day — a trend projected to go past 2030. In state and local IT departments the exodus has resulted in a loss of expertise that has become difficult and costly to replicate. Technical skillsets needed to maintain older systems are vanishing, with new staff unwilling or apprehensive to learn outdated coding languages and techniques…. Continue reading

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SaaS: The Emerging Standard for Government Agencies

Adam Stone

Microsoft and Accela Spotlight Benefits Found in the Next Generation of Software-as-a-Service

By Adam Stone / Accela As government technology leaders aim to modernize their operations, they’re looking for tools that will pare down capital refresh cycles and sunset old legacy systems. Additionally, they often seek to better respond with agility to evolving citizen expectations, protect privacy, and even help attract new talent. While there’s no silver bullet, many government entities are moving toward Software as a Service (SaaS) to deliver the solutions to these challenges.Over 41 percent of government IT leaders say they are making headway in migrating to the cloud, Deloitte reports,… Continue reading

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6 Ways to Prioritize Your Legacy Modernization

Jason Shueh
legacy modernization

Things to Consider When Weighing What Systems to Revamp or Refurbish

Unreadable data, lethargic load times, unmanageable maintenance, unsupported software, high security risks and shoddy service. These are just a few symptoms that plague governments as they struggle to modernize their antiquated systems.The difficulties act as both a constraint and catalyst, fueling an industry push for contemporary technologies found in the cloud and Software-as-a-Service solutions. Evidence of this wave of IT revitalization can be found in a survey conducted by the National Association fo State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). Since 2013, NASCIO has reported that state CIOs have consistently ranked cloud services, cybersecurity, and IT consolidation and optimization as their top three priorities,… Continue reading

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