Calling out a few of over 35 cities that have advanced in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition to create innovative solutions for shared problems faced by municipal governments. With the struggle of the national administration to drive innovation state governors and city mayors are leading the way.
In attempting to help the local homeless population, outreach workers in Austin, Texas, often struggle to catalogue, access and share information about individuals they interact with. Forty-plus nonprofits and 20-some government agencies in Austin lack a central mechanism for accurate data sharing about the homeless individuals they serve. In addition, to personal documentation such as medical records or even social security cards. Technology has previously reported. Austin, however, is working on a pilot program that uses blockchain to make it easier for homeless individuals to provide information about themselves. City officials say this is likely a first-of-its-kind use case for blockchain, one with the potential to be scaled to other cities throughout the nation.
The program that Cheyenne will soon pilot with support from Bloomberg seeks to speed up revitalization of these empty properties by matching their owners with local entrepreneurs in need of work space. City officials in Cheyenne have so far identified 17 vacant commercial buildings and 10 partially full buildings as candidates for the work, which involves creating a new website that would connect the owners and entrepreneurs and also potentially facilitate crowdfunding for their projects. The goal for Cheyenne is to have a pilot version of the site up by July, with a full-version to follow by early 2019.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Is looking at existing city data to identify gaps in equality in the community, with an ultimate goal of working to facilitate change. Their project is, in part, a citywide census of community data that has an ultimate goal of creating a mechanism for stakeholders in the city to apply for more grant moneys. The goal to really work with the different segments of our community that are affected by poverty. We believe that out of this will come some great applications for our businesses to fill out one type of application for all of the funds that are available from nonprofits.
Is eeking to find child-centered solutions for youth offenders that focus more on service-oriented solutions than on sending them to regular police precincts for booking.
To do this, Philadelphia wants to create a Hub for Juvenile Justice Services, one that would serve as a national model for how children are treated within the criminal justice system. The goal of the hub would be a “24/7 integrated service center that is trauma-informed and technology driven. Staff at the hub would be trained in how to respond to youth and families, as well as on how to make referrals to prevention or other social service programs when appropriate. It would be a preventative, non-police facility to provide juveniles with both immediate and long-term access to social services and diversion programs.
Is launching a pilot program that would build on a recently installed gunshot detection system to quickly dispatch aerial drones to potential shootings. This program, which has already made headlines, would likely be the first of its kind in the country, and it was developed as a collaboration between the city’s Office for Civic Innovation, its police department, and several community partners. City officials said that through this program aerial drones could help officers investigate incidents by capturing critical evidence at crime scenes before investigators arrive. The mobile nature of the drones would also allay privacy concerns that arise from static cameras.