Description: In mid-2011, New York found itself gripped by a series of horrible tragedies: Five people, including several children, had died in blazes that broke out in overcrowded, decrepit apartments that were literally disasters waiting to happen.
Date: February 5, 2015
Mr. Flowers, now a visiting scholar at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, is at the forefront of what he rightly describes as a “revolution” in the way local governments deliver services.
By making smarter use of their vast storehouses of operational information – everything from traffic counts and readings gathered by air-quality sensors to date stamps on business-licence applications – municipalities may be able to prevent deaths, boost quality of life, improve their operations, and reduce costs. In such sprawling city-regions as Greater Toronto, planners are trying to go a step further by using extensive transportation surveys, granular census data and sophisticated computer forecasts to model demand for multibillion-dollar transit lines. Read the rest of the Story
Questions for discussion:
1. What type of problems or opportunities do you see municipal governments being able to improve or resolve as a result of using data they already have?
2. Should municipal govt. allow outside organizations access to this data or keep it in-house?