Citiscope Turns One!
To Our Readers:
A year ago this week, we launched Citiscope to deliver on-the-ground reporting on urban innovations in cities around the world. We’re aiming to shrink the planet by helping you — the urban leaders and city shapers of the world — learn from each other.
It’s been a hugely successful first year. We’ve featured original reporting from 35 cities on 5 continents, while building a global network of local journalists who care about the future of their cities. And through our CitiSignals feature, we’ve sought to keep you up-to-date on the most important city-related news, trends and reports worldwide.
Key to our progress so far is a top-notch editorial team we brought on board, contacts we’ve spent years building globally, a talented board of directors, and the faith and support from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations.
Here are some highlights from our first year of coverage:
- We asked what makes a city resilient with stories on how Christchurch, New Zealand is modeling a new way to rebuild infrastructure after a disaster, how a San Francisco neighborhood is preparing for the “Big One,” and an award-winning disaster preparedness program in the Philippines.
- We explored how cities include all their people with stories on the real mpact of Medellin’s famous outdoor escalators, the legitimization of waste picking in Bangalore, and an amazing 12-km linear park that gives a Mexico city’s poorest residents much needed green space and a connection to one another.
- We looked at innovation in urban governance with stories on important new data standards for the world’s cities, new methods of procuring services in Barcelona and Philadelphia, and a profile of George Ferguson, the colorful mayor of Bristol, England who challenged his citizens to come up with ideas to improve quality of life in the city.
- We examined new models of regional cooperation among local governments in an open-data experiment in Helsinki, a new governance structure in Italy and the effort to build a network of bicycle “superhighways” in Copenhagen.
- We followed up on big changes in public transit to learn how a free-fare system in Tallinn, Estonia is working, to find lessons in Vancouver’s use of a public-private partnership in light rail, and to see how Buenos Aires made over its most iconic street to include bus-rapid transit.
In our second year, we are looking forward to spreading the word on more global urban innovations. And we’re planning some new directions for coverage. Here’s some of what you can expect to find at Citiscope in 2015:
- A full line of coverage and commentary related to the run-up to Habitat III, the important UN conference on cities that happens once every 20 years and is scheduled for 2016 in Quito, Ecuador. The official delegations are nation-states but officials from local governments and civil society are organizing to make their voices heard. The stakes are nothing less than the creation of global policies for cities for the next two decades.
- Enhanced coverage of trends in urban innovation playing out across many cities.
- More stories on mayors and urban leadership, with a focus on how city leaders make innovation happen.
- A sharp focus on innovation in governance, especially around the questions of municipal authority and regional cooperation among localities.
Please join us in spreading the word about urban innovation: Forward this note to a friend or colleague, sign up for our our weekly email newsletter, and follow us and share our stories on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
And please tell us: What kinds of stories would help you build a better city? What can the world’s urban leaders learn from your city? Let me know at npeirce[at]citiscope. org.
— Neal Peirce and the Citiscope team