Deep Dive: Page 2

Industry insights from our journalists


  • Lawmakers vs. regulators: The fight over Arizona's zero-emissions mandate

    Conservatives say the Arizona Corporation Commission's proposed zero-carbon mandate oversteps its constitutional authority while defenders say the legal debate is an excuse to impede the state's climate fight.

    Herman K. Trabish • Feb. 11, 2021
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    Adeline Kon/Smart Cities Dive

    Transit agencies brace for vaccination push amid murky guidance

    Though federal agencies have deemed public transit a priority sector for COVID-19 vaccinations, states are charting their own plans to address rider demands and union resources.

    Chris Teale • Feb. 1, 2021
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    Permission granted by Parkside Realty Inc.

    How COVID-19 will change office, hotel and mixed-use design

    There are still unknowns as far as how the coronavirus pandemic will impact the look of new spaces, but flexibility in layouts will be key, design experts say.

    Kim Slowey • Jan. 25, 2021
  • Building the drone highways of the sky

    UAS corridors or "sky lanes" can facilitate transformational opportunities for cities. Yet the road to integrated drone operation poses a host of challenges. 

    Nathan Eddy • Dec. 22, 2020
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    Retrieved from Flickr user Kim Seng on November 13, 2020

    5G health concerns sow uncertainty amid ongoing rollout

    While deployment continues unabated across the U.S., a small coalition of groups and leaders are trying to put the brakes on 5G in a bid to learn more about the technology.

    Chris Teale • Dec. 14, 2020
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    Dollar Photo Club

    Agencies tap public surveys to gauge transit trends

    From Idaho Falls to Norman, OK, cities and transit agencies are leaning on carefully crafted surveys to navigate the post-COVID future of transit.

    Adina Solomon • Dec. 8, 2020
  • Shopping to shelter: Abandoned mall sites welcome senior housing

    A number of cities nationally are looking to "infill redevelopment" of vacant mall sites to bridge the growing housing gap for aging populations.

    Joan Mooney • Updated Dec. 4, 2020
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    Photo illustration by Brian Tucker/Utility Dive; photograph by tommaso79 via Getty Images

    Rate design innovations are boosting the energy transition

    Success with time-of-use rates can allow utilities to integrate more variable and distributed generation, leading to more sophisticated time-varying rates.

    Herman K. Trabish • Nov. 30, 2020
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    Danielle Ternes/Smart Cities Dive

    Wildfires pushed PG&E into bankruptcy. Should other utilities be worried?

    Catastrophic wildfires, which can lead to billions of dollars in damages, present a unique financial risk that the utility sector will want to get ahead of.

    Kavya Balaraman • Nov. 20, 2020
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    The image by Mike Maguire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Cycling-friendly cities scramble to combat rising bike thefts

    Bike Index found thefts increased 68% from March to September, running incongruous to cities' investments in cycling infrastructure and support.

    Amanda Loudin • Nov. 19, 2020
  • Behind the scrutiny of Bird's fleet manager program

    A recent media report said Bird's fleet manager program is "luring contract workers into debt," while some contractors say the program has been lucrative.

    Kristin Musulin • Nov. 11, 2020
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    "Ronny Emborg" by Lou Stejskal is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Will ghost kitchens define the restaurant industry's future?

    While investor interest booms and sales have the potential to outpace traditional models, questions linger about how much this emerging market could disrupt business in the long term. 

    Emma Liem Beckett • Nov. 10, 2020
  • 5 ballot initiatives poised to propel states, cities to 100% clean energy

    At the local level, as in previous elections, energy is less prone to partisan politics in 2020.

    Catherine Morehouse • Nov. 5, 2020
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    Danielle Ternes/Smart Cities Dive

    Ballot billions: Behind the efforts to fund and finance climate action

    In a year that virtually depleted municipal budgets, ballot-derived tax and funding measures can be crucial to support city-level climate action. Outside of these measures, how else can cities secure cash?

    Kristin Musulin, Chris Teale and Cailin Crowe • Oct. 27, 2020
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    The image by James Loesch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The gas tax was already broken. The pandemic could end it.

    As states and cities face infrastructure budget crunches with gas tax revenues down, some are thinking about alternative ways to secure funding.

    Jason Plautz • Oct. 26, 2020
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    Kendall Davis/Smart Cities Dive

    Death of the downtown: How cities can rebuild using 'tactical urbanism'

    Whether or not cities "bounce back" from the COVID-19 pandemic will be determined by the choices they make to reimagine their downtown hubs, experts say.

    Amanda Loudin • Oct. 20, 2020
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    Permission granted by Capital Metro

    Behind the controversial $7.1B plan to transform transit in Austin, TX

    Voters will soon decide on a ballot initiative to fund a comprehensive transit revamp dubbed Project Connect. Opponents call the plan a "costly burden."

    Joan Mooney • Oct. 15, 2020
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    Kendall Davis/Smart Cities Dive

    Cities push ahead on EEaaS as private sector plays catch up

    Forms of Energy Efficiency as a Service have existed for decades as alternative funding mechanisms in cities. Now, as technologies accelerate and COVID-19 continues, the private sector wants in.

    Chris Teale • Oct. 1, 2020
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    Courtesy of LINK

    LINK is tapping top talent to one-up its scooter competition

    In the wake of industry layoffs and consolidation, one micromobility firm is hiring its competitors' former leaders to develop a unique scooter-sharing service.

    Kristin Musulin • Sept. 21, 2020
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    O'Connor, Josh. (2009). "Wildfire" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    Wildfires, COVID deliver one-two punch to West Coast cities

    More than 1.6 million acres have burned in California this year alone while cities scramble to protect resident health amid the challenges of COVID-19. 

    Catherine Arnold • Updated Sept. 9, 2020
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    Becker1999. (2020). "Solidarity with Kenosha" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    Governments are declaring racism a health crisis. What comes next?

    Milwaukee County's 2019 resolution blazed a trail for more than 120 U.S. governments in denouncing racism. Now, leaders must look internally to prioritize equitable budgeting and employee training. 

    Cailin Crowe • Updated Oct. 6, 2020
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    Permission granted by Lakeview Pantry

    Fighting urban hunger in the age of COVID-19

    Nonprofits, businesses and cities are stepping up with new and expanded programs to tackle the surge in food insecurity during the pandemic.

    Katie Pyzyk • Aug. 17, 2020
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    iStock via Getty Images

    Can health and safety efforts save ride-hailing post-pandemic?

    Companies are adopting new ways to bolster riders' confidence, but the industry may struggle to recover if health concerns linger or labor issues expand.

    Chris Teale • Aug. 12, 2020
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    Permission granted by Go Tuk'n

    Tuk tuks could shift from novelty to necessity in the COVID era

    Rickshaws and pedicabs offer a key advantage over most common forms of city transportation: They operate in the open-air at a time when air flow is more important than ever.

    Jason Plautz • Aug. 4, 2020
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    Brian Tucker and Kendall Davis/Smart Cities Dive

    Calls to 'defund the police' are upending FY21 budgets. Here's how.

    In this interactive report, Smart Cities Dive details how each state's largest city adjusted its public safety funding — if at all — amid demands for reallocations of police budgets.

    Kristin Musulin and Cailin Crowe • July 15, 2020