Each month we share some findings and trends we discover in our efforts to track issues that are critical for municipal success. For August, we want to call your attention to recent research on open data, advanced industries and police and community engagement.
Public Attitudes on Smart Cities and Open Data
Smart Cities, a catch-all for more effective government use of information technology, is a hot topic. The agenda so far has been driven by vendors with technology solutions looking for government problems to solve. City governments have been slow to adopt because of budget constraints and waiting for other cities to assume the pilot role. What about the public attitude on government and data issues? The Pew Research Center looked at public perceptions on the topic. The bottom line is that citizens have mixed opinions about government’s ability to effectively use these tools. The good news for cities is that citizens view local governments more favorably than their state and federal counterparts in this area.
For your consideration: Americans’ View on Open Government Data
Advanced Industries and Economic Growth
Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program continues good work tracking the fortunes and role of America’s advanced industries. They define advanced industries broadly. It goes beyond traditional information technology. The focus is on any industry that extensively uses science and research-driven processes to make tangible or intangible goods. It includes sectors like autos, life-science driven companies and traditional information technology, among others. Their latest report found that 60 percent of the economic and job growth in recent years was in these advanced industries. Over 100 metropolitan areas had growing advanced industry sectors. Fifty-nine were slowing or declining over the period. The rest were flat.
For your consideration: America’s Advanced Industries: New Trends
Better Police and Community Engagement
As our recent blog pointed out, policing is the largest operating budget item for cities and towns, and the foundation of local government’s legitimacy in the public eye. Recent shootings across the country have focused more attention on the central role of law enforcement in our democracy. There are clearly opportunities for learning and understanding all around. Education and engagement for local governments and citizens is a good place to start. The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a lengthy collection of efforts to bring police and citizens together for dialogue. There are many great ideas and successes in these efforts already.
For your consideration: Community Conversations
Next week, we will report some of the work we are doing on local economic development and city public finance. In the meantime, take a look at these reports and let us know how we can help you make better choices for your community. Contact Axianomics.