Deep Dive: Page 3

Industry insights from our journalists


  • Image attribution tooltip
    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
  • Energy Efficiency as a Service illustration
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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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    Image attribution tooltip
    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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    Image attribution tooltip
    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
  • New normal for ride-hailing
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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
  • Smart lake with sensors and buoys
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    Yujin Kim/Smart Cities Dive

    Algal blooms to data boons: How 'smart lakes' improve water quality

    New York's Lake George and Ohio's Lake Erie are among those to deploy sensors and IoT tech in an effort to monitor pollution, toxins and weather.

    Chris Teale • July 13, 2020
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    Kendall Davis/Smart Cities Dive

    Virus vs. voting: Behind the high-risk presidential primary elections

    As November's election showdown looms, officials nationwide are scrambling to preserve voter rights while minimizing coronavirus transmission.

    Katie Pyzyk • July 6, 2020
  • A COVID-19 hit to public power? For some, it's not all bad

    Municipal utilities and other public power entities have unique challenges, and some advantages, when dealing with the financial impacts of the pandemic.

    Matthew Bandyk • June 26, 2020
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Retrieved from MassDOT.

    Transit agencies weigh security forces amid calls to defund police

    U.S. cities are reassessing transit policing in an effort to address issues of systemic racism. "This is about reimagining what safety looks like," one transit official said.

    Jason Plautz • June 25, 2020
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    Danielle Ternes/Smart Cities Dive

    The 'new normal': City sectors confront post-coronavirus realities

    With costs of the pandemic coming into focus as recovery efforts persist, Smart Cities Dive analyzed how leaders across various departments can use lessons from the COVID-19 crisis to rebuild.

    Chris Teale • May 26, 2020
  • Climate change and resiliency deep dive header image
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    Yujin Kim/Smart Cities Dive

    Observing recovery through a climate 'magnifying glass'

    COVID-19 presented cities with fresh observations of climate trends, marking a crucial time for leaders to weave climate change mitigation into recovery efforts.

    Chris Teale • May 26, 2020
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    Brian Tucker/Smart Cities Dive

    Stay-at-home orders shine light on 'amplified' digital divide

    Just as the Great Depression highlighted a need for ubiquitous electricity, advocates are urging leaders to seize COVID-19 as a turning point for ubiquitous internet.

    Chris Teale • May 26, 2020
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    Image attribution tooltip
    Danielle Ternes/Smart Cities Dive

    Transportation leaders focus on regaining trust before building anew

    Before eyeing new infrastructure, transportation agencies must regain the loyalty of riders who fled to personal cars amid the pandemic.

    Chris Teale • May 26, 2020
  • New era of city workforce development implores virtual strategies

    Experts say recovering from the economic destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic will require a new, tech-forward approach to regional hiring and workforce development.

    Kristin Musulin • May 14, 2020
  • new york park
    Image attribution tooltip
    Münzel, Danko. (2018). "USA-Reise New York" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    As anxiety rises, cities adapt mental health services on the fly

    The new coronavirus pandemic has strained city-run mental health services, resulting in a need for more federal support and reprioritized programs.

    Jason Plautz • May 11, 2020
  • line of construction workers holding tools and medical supplies
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    Adeline Kon/Smart Cities Dive

    8 ways coronavirus is altering the construction industry

    U.S. jobsites are reopening, but construction will not look the same as before the COVID-19 outbreak. Are cities ready for the paradigm shift?

    Jennifer Goodman • May 1, 2020
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    Image attribution tooltip
    Verch, Marco. (2017). "Drohnenfoto: The Field Museum, Soldier Field und Hochhäuser im Bezirk Burnham Place" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    The pandemic pace: A look at congestion-free speeding and its risks

    As city streets see drastic dips in vehicular traffic, a by-the-numbers look shows drivers are traveling at unprecedented speeds — putting pedestrians, cyclists and other civilians at risk. 

    Cailin Crowe • April 29, 2020
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    Danielle Ternes/Smart Cities Dive

    Who will save the startups?

    At this point, it's not about keeping startups alive — it's about who can last on the other side of an economic downturn.

    Samantha Schwartz • April 28, 2020
  • Cities have seen a cycling surge amid COVID-19. Will the trend stick?

    A number of cities have closed streets to vehicular traffic to support and protect a spike in biking. As cities look to recovery, advocates hope such moves will influence change.

    Chris Teale • April 27, 2020
  • Image attribution tooltip
    The image by Tony Webster is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Omaha, NE residents pick up city's slack in COVID-19 communications

    The mayor’s office lacks social media pages, email newsletters or text services to communicate important health information with residents. As COVID-19 spreads, community leaders are stepping up.

    Kristin Musulin • April 23, 2020
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by City of Chicago

    Chicago COVID-19 data stresses racial disparities seen nationally

    Black individuals are contracting and dying from COVID-19 at a disproportionately high rate. Experts blame long-standing inequities and structural racism — and urge cities to mitigate the racial divide.

    Katie Pyzyk • April 21, 2020