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jerryking : municipalities   60

How to funnel capital to the American heartland
April 15, 2019 | Financial Times | by Bruce Katz.
* The Innovation Blind Spot, by Ross Baird.
* Ways must be found to rewire money flows in order to reverse the export of wealth
* A federal tax incentive intended to entice coastal capital into the heartland may end up helping to keep local capital local.

Over the past year, economically distressed communities across the US have been engaged in an intense discussion about mobilising private capital. Why? As mayors, governors, real estate developers, entrepreneurs and investors have learnt, buried in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a provision that created a significant tax incentive to invest in low-income “opportunity zones” across the country......the law’s greatest effect, ironically, has been to unveil a treasure trove of wealth in communities throughout the nation. Some of the country’s largest investors are high-net-worth families in Kansas City, Missouri, and Philadelphia; insurance companies in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee; universities in Birmingham, Alabama, and South Bend, Indiana; philanthropists in Cleveland and Detroit; and community foundations and pension funds in every state.

These pillars of wealth mostly invest their market-oriented equity capital outside their own communities, even though their own locales often possess globally significant research institutions, advanced industry companies, grand historic city centres and distinctive ecosystems of entrepreneurs. The wealth-export industry is not a natural phenomenon; it has been led and facilitated by a sophisticated network of wealth management companies, private equity firms, family offices and financial institutions that have narrow definitions of where and in what to invest.

The US, in other words, doesn’t have a capital problem; it has an organisational problem. So how can capital flows be rewired to reverse the export of wealth?

Three things stand out:

(1) Information matters. The opportunity zones incentive has encouraged US cities to create investment prospectuses to promote the competitive assets of their low-income communities and highlight projects that are investor-ready and promise competitive returns.

(2) norms and networks matter. The opportunity zone market will be enhanced by the creation of “capital stacks” that enable the financing of community products such as workforce housing, commercial real estate, small businesses (and minority-owned businesses in particular) and clean energy, to name just a few. Initial opportunity zone projects are already showing creative blends of public, private and civic capital that mix debt, subsidy and equity.

(3) institutions matter. Opportunity zones require cities to create and capitalise new institutions that can deploy capital at scale in sustained ways. Some models already exist. The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, backed by patient capital from Procter & Gamble, has driven the regeneration of the Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood during the past 15 years.

More institutional innovation, however, is needed. As Ross Baird, author of The Innovation Blind Spot, has argued, the US must create a new generation of community quarterbacks to provide budding entrepreneurs with business planning and mentoring, matching them with risk-tolerant equity. These efforts will succeed if they unleash the synergies that flow naturally from urban density. New institutions will not have to work alone, but hand-in-glove with the trusted financial firms that manage this locally-generated wealth.
books  capital_flows  cities  coastal_elites  community  economic_development  economically_disadvantaged  economies_of_scale  high_net_worth  howto  industrial_policies  industrial_midwest  industrial_zones  institutions  investors  match-making  midwest  municipalities  networks  network_density  P&G  PPP  packaging  place-based  private_equity  property_development  prospectuses  Red_States  rescue_investing  rust_belt  tax_codes  venture_capital 
april 2019 by jerryking
Flood. Rinse. Repeat: The costly cycle that must end
May 07, 2017 | The Globe and Mail |GLENN MCGILLIVRAY, managing director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Once again, homes located alongside a Canadian river have flooded, affected homeowners are shocked, the local government is wringing its hands, the respective provincial government is ramping up to provide taxpayer-funded disaster assistance and the feds are deploying the Armed Forces.

In Canada, it is the plot of the movie Groundhog Day, or the definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.....First, a homeowner locates next to the river, oftentimes because of the view (meaning a personal choice is being made). Many of these homes are of high value.

Then the snow melts, the ice jams or the rain falls and the flood comes. Often, as is the case now, the rain is characterized by the media as being incredible, far outside the norm. Then a scientific or engineering analysis later shows that what happened was not very exceptional.

These events are not caused by the rain, they are caused by poor land-use decisions, among other public-policy foibles. This is what is meant when some say there are no such things as natural catastrophes, only man-made disasters.

Finally, the province steps in with disaster assistance then seeks reimbursement from the federal government through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. In any case, whether provincial or federal, taxpayers are left holding the bag.....So what is the root of the problem? Though complex problems have complex causes and complex solutions, one of the causes is that the party making the initial decision to allow construction (usually the local government) is not the party left holding the bag when the flood comes.

Just as homeowners have skin in the game through insurance deductibles and other measures, local governments need a financial disincentive to act in a risky manner. At present, municipalities face far more upside risk than downside risk when it comes to approving building in high-risk hazard zones. When the bailout comes from elsewhere, there is no incentive to make the right decision – the lure of an increased tax base and the desire not to anger local voters is all too great.

Reducing natural disaster losses in Canada means breaking the cycle – taking a link out of the chain of events that leads to losses.

Local governments eager for growth and the tax revenue that goes with it need to hold some significant portion of the downside risk in order to give them pause for thought.
floods  catastrophes  natural_calamities  design  insurance  public_policy  disasters  relief_recovery_reconstruction  sustainability  municipalities  skin_in_the_game  disincentives  Albert_Einstein  complex_problems  land_uses  moral_hazards  man-made  hazards  downside_risks 
may 2017 by jerryking
Uber Extends an Olive Branch to Local Governments: Its Data
JAN. 8, 2017 | - The New York Times | By MIKE ISAAC.

unveiled Movement, a stand-alone website it hopes will persuade city planners to consider Uber as part of urban development and transit systems in the future.

The site, which Uber will invite planning agencies and researchers to visit in the coming weeks, will allow outsiders to study traffic patterns and speeds across cities using data collected by tens of thousands of Uber vehicles. Users can use Movement to compare average trip times across certain points in cities and see what effect something like a baseball game might have on traffic patterns. Eventually, the company plans to make Movement available to the general public.
municipalities  urban  urban_planning  cities  Boston  partnerships  Uber  Movement  data  data_driven  traffic_analysis 
january 2017 by jerryking
Water Data Deluge: Addressing the California Drought Requires Access to Accurate Data - The CIO Report - WSJ
April 22, 2015| WSJ | By KIM S. NASH.

California, now in its fourth year of drought, is collecting more data than ever from utilities, municipalities and other water providers about just how much water flows through their pipes....The data-collection process, built on monthly self-reporting and spreadsheets, is critical to informing such policy decisions, which affect California’s businesses and 38.8 million residents. Some say the process, with a built-in lag time of two weeks between data collection and actionable reports, could be better, allowing for more effective, fine-tuned management of water.

“More data and better data will allow for more nuanced approaches and potentially allow the water system to function more efficiently,”...“Right now, there are inefficiencies in the system and they don’t know exactly where, so they have to resort to blanket policy responses.”...the State Water Resources Control Board imports the data into a spreadsheet to tabulate and compare with prior months. Researchers then cleanse the data, find and resolve anomalies and create graphics to show what’s happened with water in the last month. The process takes about 2 weeks....accuracy is an issue in any self-reporting scenario...while data management could be improved by installing smart meters to feed information directly to the Control Board automatically... there are drawbacks to any technology. Smart meters can fail, for example. “The nice thing about spreadsheets is anyone can open it up and immediately see everything there,”
lag_time  water  California  data  spreadsheets  inefficiencies  municipalities  utilities  bureaucracies  droughts  vulnerabilities  self-reporting  decision_making  Industrial_Internet  SPOF  bottlenecks  data_management  data_quality  data_capture  data_collection 
april 2015 by jerryking
What I learned in Ferguson - The Globe and Mail
OMAR EL AKKAD
What I learned in Ferguson
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 07 2014

...the underlying, centuries-old imbalances that allow such a thing to happen. ...an entire urban structure built on inequality....Last weekend, the Globe published a story on how the Ferguson protests have become an American phenomenon, sparking a nationwide conversation on race, poverty and violence. But where there is a story about breadth, there is also a story about depth....the fault lines of segregation exist not along one axis but two: race and wealth....To make ends meet, municipalities such as Ferguson have resorted to more direct means – namely, fees and court fines. Jaywalking and speeding citations aren’t just a tool for enforcing public safety, they’ve increasingly become a financial necessity.

But beyond creating a sense of resentment among the citizenry, these revenue tools have direct and sometimes life-changing consequences. In a place where the median household income is about $37,500 (roughly $10,000 less than the state average), tickets often go unpaid, leading to a warrant, which in turn can lead to arrest, destroying job prospects in the process.

But there’s more. In Missouri, those on parole or probation are not allowed to vote. That means a fine that started out as a financial measure for the municipality can end up as a tool of political disenfranchisement.
Omar_el_Akkad  Ferguson  life-changing  resentments  police_brutality  structural_change  inequality  segregation  disenfranchisement  fault_lines  municipalities  institutional_path_dependency  imbalances 
december 2014 by jerryking
How the big-data revolution can help design ideal cities - The Globe and Mail
DAVE MCGINN
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 24 2014

The big-data revolution faces two key challenges, both concerning the collection of information.

First, as is always the case when it comes to monitoring individuals and collecting details about their lives, is privacy. Second, there is the issue of using that data responsibly....Once municipalities have that consent, there is then the issue of harmonizing data sets in order to gain a fuller picture of issues. For instance, if a municipality wants to understand water-consumption levels, it helps to know how they track weather patterns.

Many cities are still struggling to understand how to use big data, but it promises to be a hugely important urban-planning tool.
algorithms  IBM  real-time  urban  sensors  municipalities  massive_data_sets  cities  data  decision_making  privacy  urban_planning  open_data 
september 2014 by jerryking
Five things all Canadian cities should stop ignoring
Aug. 20 2014 |The Globe and Mail | JEFF LEHMAN.
1. Don’s World
2. Resiliency.
3. Affordable housing.
4. Slaying the infrastructure deficit.
5. A new federalism.

Don's world = that Ontario governments need to adjust to revenues growing more slowly by reforming services and changing the way they do business. Cities must listen to this advice. This goes beyond controlling costs; services must be delivered differently if they are to be sustainable.
affordable_housing  affordability  Canadian  cities  Don_Drummond  federalism  infrastructure  mayoral  municipalities  P3  public_housing  public_sector  resilience  slow_growth  strategic_thinking  urban 
august 2014 by jerryking
A Start-Up Helps Towns Market Their Property - NYTimes.com
By LISA PREVOSTAUG. 5, 2014

Two public policy graduates at the Kennedy School at Harvard University are trying to build a business of helping municipalities with a task at which they are notoriously deficient: managing and marketing their real estate portfolios.

Called OpportunitySpace, the start-up works with municipal governments to put their publicly owned real estate holdings in a public online database. Specifics about each property, such as square footage, assessed value and delinquent taxes, are linked to its address. The parcels are mapped geographically.
KSG  start_ups  cities  commercial_real_estate  entrepreneur  municipalities 
august 2014 by jerryking
Q: What is the difference between analytics and microtargeting and can I afford either in a city council race?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

A: According to Tom Bonier of Clarity Campaign Labs, the nomenclature of analytics vs. microtargeting is not settled, reflecting the relative newness of the field. "Analy...
analytics  political_campaigns  microtargeting  cities  local  municipalities  elections 
january 2014 by jerryking
The messy reality of open data and politics | Public Leaders Network
8 April 2013 | | Guardian Professional | Tim Davies, Guardian Professional.

In practice, datasets themselves are political objects, and policies to open up datasets are the product of politics. If you look beyond the binary fight over whether government data should be open or not, then you will find a far more subtle set of political questions over the what and the how of opening data.

Datasets are built from the categories and relationships that the database designer (or their political masters) decide are important. In their book, Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences, Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star describe how the international classification of disease, the basis for worldwide mortality statistics, has historically under-represented tropical diseases in its code lists. The result is that global health policy has been less able to see, distinguish and target certain conditions....Local authority spending data has never existed as a single dataset before – but a central edict that this should be published, itself a decision with a political edge, has generated new standards for representing local spend, that have to decide what sort of information about spend is important.

Should the data contain company identifiers to let us see which firms get public money? And should spend data be linked to results and categorisation of public services? These decisions can have big impacts on how data can be used, what it can tell us, and what impacts open data will have.
datasets  data  open_data  cities  municipalities  politics  political_campaigns  sorting  messiness 
december 2013 by jerryking
Political
 Finance 
in 
City 
Elections: Toronto 
and
 Calgary
 Compared

September
2008 | The
 Canadian 
Political 
Science
 Review |Lisa
 Young

(University
 of 
Calgary)
 and
 Sam 
Austin 
(University
 of 
Calgary)

Comparing
 candidate 
contribution
 and
 expenditure
 data
 from
 urban 
elections
 in
 Toronto
 and
 Calgary,
 the
 paper
 concludes
 that
 elements
 of
 the
 regulatory
 regime
 in
 Toronto
 contribute 
modestly
 to
 a
 more
 level
 playing
 field 
for 
political
 competition 
in 
that 
city.
In

particular,
the
limits
on
the
size
of
contributions,
when
coupled
with
a
rebate
for
political

donat
ions,
 make
 candidates
 less
 reliant
 on
 corporate
 and
 development
 sources.
 These
 elements
 of
 Toronto’s
 regulatory 
regime
 also
 contribute
 to
a
somewhat 
higher
 level
 of
 competitiveness 
in 
municipal 
elections
 in
 Toronto
 than 
in 
Calgary,
where 
election 
finance

is 
effectively
 unregulated,
cities  elections  municipalities  finance  funding 
december 2013 by jerryking
PhD student makes municipal politics media-friendly
November 8, 2013 | UToday-- University of Calgary |By Heath McCoy

In the past, Fairie has also honed his teaching skills by leading classes on research methods. “That’s usually about making stats accessible for people who hate numbers, so I think I developed some skills there, in making the hard details a bit more fun.”

Now that he’s graduating, Fairie wants to take his passion for statistics to the next level. He plans to start up a data-science consulting firm with colleagues.

“I’d like to work with organizations and government bodies who have big data sets which they need to get value out of,” he says. “I can help them understand the patterns that are going on underneath that data. It’s valuable information.”
Colleges_&_Universities  Calgary  data_scientists  politics  municipalities  elections  massive_data_sets  political_campaigns 
december 2013 by jerryking
True democracy starts with the municipal - The Globe and Mail
Preston Manning

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 15 2013

there are more than 25,000 elected municipal officials in Canada, not counting elected school boards and health boards in many jurisdictions, and some 75,000 to 100,000 Canadians likely gave serious thought to running for their municipal council over the past three years.

And while there are numerous think tanks, interest groups, party organizations and communications vehicles that provide intellectual capital and training opportunities for politicians at the federal and provincial levels, candidates for municipal office are not nearly as well served. This is a situation that needs to be remedied – not by bringing federal or provincial party politics to the municipal level, but by creating and supporting more think tanks, training programs, and communications vehicles dedicated to the provision of better ideas and training for those willing to run for municipal office.

Of course, political innovation of this type at the municipal level will run into the same criticism and opposition that invariably greets political innovation at any level in Canada.
Preston_Manning  municipalities  democracy  political_infrastructure  institutions  institution-building  politicians  political_innovation  think_tanks  training  training_programs 
august 2013 by jerryking
St. Louis Looks to Regain Its Startup Mojo - WSJ.com
June 11, 2013 | WSJ | By BEN CASSELMAN

Cities Hunt for Startup Magic, Entrepreneurial Culture Seen as Growth Key; $100 Million Seed Fund in St. Louis
start_ups  St._Louis  cities  municipalities  economic_development 
june 2013 by jerryking
Dramatic temperature increases could threaten Canadian health, infrastructure - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

Canada is getting hotter faster than ever before and at a faster rate than almost any other country. Rain, snow, sleet and hail storms are becoming more erratic. What were once considered exceptional weather patterns – the kind researchers reject to avoid skewing their data – are becoming common....Canada’s infrastructure wasn’t built for this kind of climate. And much of the burden falls on municipal governments, with road, sewer and transit systems that can barely cope with existing weather conditions, let alone future vagaries.

“There’s a very large gap in terms of the current health of municipal infrastructure in Canada and where we should be right now,” said Paul Kovacs, University of Western Ontario economist and executive director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, a group established by Canada’s insurance industry to research the costs of natural disasters and how to mitigate them....The effects of erratic weather patterns became very real for Ontario’s apple farmers last year: An early thaw followed by an unexpected frost wiped out 82 per cent of the province’s crop. Now, the industry – worth about $100-million in Ontario alone – is trying to figure out how to weatherproof itself. Potential fixes are wind breaks, hail nets, frost fans and sunscreen for apples to prevent damage from sunlight and heat. It’s expensive and uncertain, especially when the weather becomes tougher to predict. Leslie Huffman, Ontario’s apple production specialist, is working with the province on evaluating new techniques.
apples  anomalies  Canada  catastrophes  climate_change  extreme_weather_events  infrastructure  insurance  municipalities  natural_calamities  risk-mitigation  weather 
january 2013 by jerryking
Using 'Big Data' to Fill Potholes and End Traffic Jams - WSJ.com
June 11, 2012 | WSJ | By SHIRA OVIDE

Tapping 'Big Data' to Fill Potholes
Start-Ups Help States and Municipalities Track Effects of Car Speeds, Other Variables on Traffic.

The New Jersey center offers a glimpse at the power of "big data," a term for techniques to gather reams of computerized information points, analyze them and spit out patterns, often in easy-to-understand visuals like maps or charts. While some industries have used big-data methods for years, what's new is the massive scale of data being generated now thanks to the proliferation of networked gadgets like mobile phones and the growing power of computers to store and make sense of data quickly and more cheaply.
municipalities  massive_data_sets  New_Jersey  sensors  traffic_congestion 
june 2012 by jerryking
Meet the man who shaped 20th-century Toronto - The Globe and Mail
JOHN LORINC
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 18, 2012

Rowland Caldwell Harris – who began a 33-year term as works commissioner a century ago this week – left his civic fingerprints all over Toronto, building hundreds of kilometres of sidewalks, sewers, paved roads, streetcar tracks, public baths and washrooms, landmark bridges and even the precursor plans to the GO commuter rail network.

“The significance of Harris a hundred years later is that we’re still living fundamentally in the city he imagined,” observes Dalhousie architecture professor Steven Mannell, who studies his career and has advised city officials on an extensive rehabilitation of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, due to be finished next year.

Mr. Harris famously added a second deck to the Prince Edward Viaduct in anticipation of a subway line that wasn’t built for decades. What’s less well known is that Mr. Harris was a photo buff who, in 1930, presided over the city’s first planning exercise – a process that led to construction of congestion-easing arterials such as Dundas Street East and the parkway extension of Mount Pleasant through Rosedale and up towards St. Clair.
John_Lorinc  Toronto  trailblazers  R.C._Harris  architecture  wastewater-treatment  infrastructure  municipalities  urban  urban_planning  landmarks  bridges  foresight  imagination  TTC  '30s  city_builders 
may 2012 by jerryking
Toronto website gives deep look at neighbourhood statistics - The Globe and Mail
ELIZABETH CHURCH
, Jun. 29, 2011
Want to know what neighbourhood has the highest graduation rates, the
most trees or the greatest number of car accidents?

The answers are now a click away with a new hub on the city website.
Wellbeing Toronto lets users map an array of services and demographic
information and compare the results across 140 neighbourhoods. Users can
see basic information about a neighbourhood, such as average family
income, education level and age of population by sliding their cursor
over an interactive city map. They also can delve deeper to plot
services such as daycare centres, transit stops, and even convenience
stores and supermarkets in a specific area and see how they stack up
with other parts of the city.
Toronto  websites  community  statistics  neighbourhoods  demographic_information  Elizabeth_Church  municipalities  mapping  open_data  crowdsourcing 
july 2011 by jerryking
From a Crisis, Opportunity
April 24, 2011 New York Times PATRICIA R.
OLSEN.Municipalities are struggling today as they deal with fiscal crises. But they're engaging in layoffs and cutting services in an attempt to balance their budgets. I believe that reports of possible enormous defaults are overstated. The municipal sector has been known for its safe investments. Lower-rated credit, in the nonrated or junk-bond range, and credit barely investment grade, are vulnerable; that's why these investments pay a higher yield.

In 2000, when working in Detroit for our company, I was co-founder of an internship program, the Detroit Summer Finance Institute, which exposes inner-city students to finance jobs. People often view the municipal
finance sector as less glamorous than the corporate one. Young people,
especially, don't always realize how rewarding work in this field can
be. We have offices in 22 cities. I see the impact of our work in many
cities -- from convention centers to highways to educational projects.
municipalities  municipal_finance  African-Americans  women  Octothorpe_Software  unglamorous  internships  young_people 
april 2011 by jerryking
Calgary mayor gives a Twitter revolution lesson - The Globe and Mail
CHRYSTIA FREELAND | Columnist profile
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011
Chrystia_Freeland  Calgary  mayoral  municipalities 
april 2011 by jerryking
Toronto’s backward on public housing: Get ’em out, not in -
Mar. 03, 2011 | Globe & Mail| Margaret Wente. Chocolates
and spa days aren’t what’s really wrong with Toronto’s public housing.
There are plenty of signs that the place has been mismanaged for years.
And the biggest problem is that the city’s got it backward. All the
focus is on getting people into public housing – not on getting them
out. In Atlanta, it’s the other way around. That city’s housing
authority doesn’t believe in owning buildings or playing landlord –
although it still does some of both. Its long-term aim is to move people
out of poverty and render itself obsolete. “Concentrating families in
poverty is very destructive,” Atlanta Housing Authority CEO Renée Glover
told The NYT. Over the past decade, the city has demolished a dozen
developments, and relocated thousands of residents to private market
rental housing with the help of voucher subsidies. The idea is to reduce
poverty by decentralizing it, and to gentrify poor neighbourhoods by
working with private developers.
Margaret_Wente  municipalities  housing  TCHC  social_housing  scandals  toronto  public_housing 
march 2011 by jerryking
The New Normal - NYTimes.com
February 28, 2011 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. The U.S. is going
to be doing a lot of deficit cutting over the next several years. The
country’s future greatness will be shaped by whether those cuts are made
wisely or stupidly. Brooks proffers the following principles to guide
the cuts.
#1. Make Everybody Hurt. The sacrifice should be spread widely and
fairly.
#2. Make Conscious Tradeoffs. Trim from the old to invest in the young. We should adjust pension
promises and reduce the amount of $ spent on health care during the last
months of life so we can preserve programs for those who are growing
and learning the most.
# 3. Never cut without an evaluation process. Before legislators and
governors chop a section of the budget, they should make a list of all
the relevant programs, grading each option and then start paying for
them from the top down.
cutbacks  deficits  effectiveness  fairness  Octothorpe_Software  David_Brooks  municipalities  decision_making  austerity  sacrifice  new_normal  tradeoffs  priorities  assessments_&_evaluations 
march 2011 by jerryking
New council and mayor as shackled as the last
October 15, 2010 | Inside Toronto | DAVID NICKLE. The reality
is that any mayor and council who comes into the job is going to be
facing the same constrained set of options as shackled the last. The
city's books never balance easily, although they always do - and much of
the services the city provides are mandated by other levels of
government, or are constrained by collective agreements, or are just
in-demand enough that no council would think to touch them.

The giant municipal beast that is this city lumbers on, with clear, if
sometimes limited, goals. It's not surprising that the most resonant
messages to come out of this race have been shouts of incoherent rage.

It makes one wonder if perhaps Tory, Giambrone, Mammoliti, Thomson and
Rossi might not have been on to something when they decided against
going for the job. Perhaps in 2010, quitting is the new winning.
elections  Toronto  mayoral  municipalities  candidates 
october 2010 by jerryking
Facing Budget Gaps, Cities Sell Parking, Airports, Zoos, Other Assets - WSJ.com
AUGUST 23, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By IANTHE JEANNE DUGAN.

The privatization trend is being spurred by a cottage industry of consultants, lawyers and bankers. Allen & Overy, a New York law firm, dubs it "rescue investing" and recently provided investors a booklet on "jurisdictions of opportunity"—municipalities whose laws, budget woes and credit ratings make them most likely to make deals [jk: unexploited_resources ].

"More public-private partnerships for public infrastructure in the U.S. have reached commercial and financial close than during any comparable period in U.S. history," the booklet says.
airports  assets  austerity  cities  cottage_industries  cutbacks  deal-making  dealmakers  divestitures  entrepreneurial  fallen_angels  infrastructure  investors  law_firms  lawyers  municipalities  opportunities  opportunistic  parking_lots  pitches  PPP  privatization  prospectuses  rescue_investing  unexploited_resources  vulture_investing 
august 2010 by jerryking
Cloud computing for lean local governments
May. 12, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Shawna Richer.

BasicGov sells software as a service (SaaS) and manages the business of running a community by writing software that resides on the Internet. Today 33 communities - 31 in the United States and two in Canada, Dryden, Ont., and Red Deer, Alta. - have signed on.

Governments lease access to the servers and software - up to five modules covering permits, planning, enforcement, inspections and licences, and a public portal. One user with one module pays $119 per month. Bulk pricing is available for larger clients.

Cloud computing is the future, and everyone from Apple to Google to Microsoft is betting that mainframe servers and physical software will eventually become a thing of the past.

The cloud is the Internet and users can access software that is stored on remote servers around the world on demand. Gmail is a common form of cloud computing.
cloud_computing  municipalities  local  SaaS  austerity  cutbacks  cities  Salesforce 
june 2010 by jerryking
Big eau
April 2008 | Report on Business Magazinei | by Eric Reguly.
Privatized water has been an on-again, off-again trend in parts of the
world for a century or more. Higher growth rates, however, are bound to
return at some point as urban densities increase and private engineering
talent is needed to solve water-shortage problems. Water companies can
do themselves a favour, too, by accepting, even encouraging, the
strictest public oversight and regulations.
Eric_Reguly  water  privatization  municipalities 
june 2009 by jerryking
GETTING ON THE WIFI GAME
09-11-2007 The Globe and Mail (TQ Magazine) by Ian Harvey
Over the next few years, investment in WiFi meshes could pay off for
cities as a revenue source, whether through more efficient delivery of
public services or through provision of services, such as fleet tracking
and communications, to paying customers.
Wi-Fi  municipalities  buildouts  tracking 
march 2009 by jerryking
A Tale of Several Cities: What explains why Boston flourishes while Philadelphia flounders?
Friday, October 20, 2006 12:01 A.M. EDT, WSJ op-ed by JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN.

Why isn't Philadelphia Boston? Why does Boston prosper, people and businesses outbidding one another to get in, while Philadelphia languishes, with acres of vacant and underused property announcing the lack of local demand? .......The answers are not to be found in conventional 20th-century analysis, which emphasized the seemingly unsolvable urban crisis: the decline of industrial jobs, the burdens of excessive taxation, the inevitability of racial tensions and the dominance of geography....At least part of the answer stems from their underlying cultures..... In his "Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia" (1979), E. Digby Baltzell argued that Boston Brahmins, with their belief in authority and leadership, embraced a sense of responsibility for civic life, while Philadelphia Gentlemen, with their inward but judgmental Quaker ways were deeply unconcerned about their city's welfare.....cultural analysis -- long out of fashion as too soft (as as opposed to econometrics) or too racist (who is to say that one culture is better than another?) -- is due for a comeback. .....The old answer of urban success was deterministic: taxes and geography.....as the historian Richard Wade has noted for years, against the tide of his field, this theory has its flaws: If the sheer excellence of a harbor truly determined a city's fate, then the greatest city in America would be Upper Sandusky, Ohio....What flourishing cities often have in common, instead, are two crucial cultural characteristics: combativeness and cunning.....That same energy contributes to New York's cyclical boom-and-bust nature, regularly pushing speculation beyond the limits of an exuberant boom, thereby encouraging a bust. ....Cunning and combativeness, however, often restore cities financially without making them many new friends, except, perhaps, for the young -- who, for the past two decades, have been returning in great numbers to the old neighborhoods long ago abandoned by their parents and grandparents....But what makes cities successful -- or even just lovable -- can seldom be quantified.
boom-to-bust  municipalities  Toronto  ECONOMY  city  cities  Boston  Philadelphia  gentrification  cultural_analysis  cultural_values  leadership  Boston_Brahmins  bubbles 
february 2009 by jerryking
Statement to City of Toronto Executive Committee
October 29, 2007 Remarks by Judith Andrew, Vice President
Ontario, CFIB. The senior level governments now accept that their
purchasing/procurement decisions are important to economic development,
and that there is a need to make such opportunities accessible to
smaller firms.
Toronto  economic_development  purchasing  municipalities  procurement  filetype:pdf  media:document 
february 2009 by jerryking
Let federal money flow freely, mayors urge
Jan. 16, 2009 G&M article by Galloway, Gloria detailing
desire by Canadian mayors for federal infrastructure money to flow
quickly without strings attaches so they may deal with the economic
crisis.
Toronto  municipalities  wish_list  economics  crisis  infrastructure  economic_downturn 
january 2009 by jerryking

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