Smart cities need smart government

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Smart Cities NYC conference. Urban planning, sustainable design, cities, transportation systems: these obviously have nothing to do with Chef, but have been interest areas of mine for a very long time. I came away with some insights, particularly about the relative roles of government and private sector, and one thing stuck with me. If we don’t reform the civil service for the wired cities of the future, we risk turning over the fabric of our society to private corporations — to the extent that isn’t already happening. Continue reading

Reflections on Urban Toronto, Two Years Later

Downtown Toronto picture

Downtown Toronto looking west from the new West Donlands park

Visiting Toronto after two years away is like waking up from a coma. I’m in a city whose built forms I recognize, but for which 50% or more of the urban landscape is different. I hope the changes are for the better, but I’m not entirely sure yet. Continue reading

California Gubernatorial Race

Now that the California gubernatorial race has turned into a complete circus sideshow, with both Arnold Schwarznegger and Larry Flynt of Hustler running, I’m suggesting that Darl McBride should mount a campaign, as well. Since the state of California isn’t doing so well financially, he can mount frivolous lawsuits against other states in an attempt to prop up the economy.

In fact, he could have the State of CalifOrnia (SCO) claim to own the copyright to the concept of rolling blackouts, which they purchased from PG&E. Then, he can sue, say, Idaho, for initiating blackouts without paying proper licensing fees.

Or perhaps, after IBM’s lawyers are finished breaking his spine on the Catherine wheel, he’ll just have to find another ailing public company in need of a business model that involves suing people.