GOOD

Don't Reinvent The Wheel, Steal It: An Urban Planning Award for Cities That Copy

The world's 567,000 mayors should be poaching each other's good ideas, not reinventing the wheel.

Cities around the world may all be struggling with the same problems, from building affordable housing to boosting internet access, but a lack of dialogue means that local governments rarely copy each other’s successful ideas. The world’s “567,000 mayors are reinventing the wheel, every single one of them with everything” they do, says Sascha Haselmayer, general director of Living Labs Global, a Copenhagen-based non-profit that encourages collaboration among the world’s cities.


Part of the problem is political pressure to contract with local businesses only, which makes it hard for city governments to look to outsiders for advice and solutions. “The logic behind that is it helps local companies grow,” says Haselmayer, but it can cost up to fifty times as much to recreate a product or service instead of importing it from elsewhere.

In an attempt to spread successful ideas and connect city goverments with each other and with a global market of solutions providers, LLG is hosting its third annual global summit, where cities put out an open call for solutions to an important problem. Twenty-one cities from Lagos to Rome to Guadalajara have signed on this year. In Lavasa, India, planners are wondering how to wean people off cars. Mexico City needs to figure out how to track all its buses. LLG invites individuals, non-profits, and businesses to take a crack at these challenges by submitting a proposal. The cities will narrow down submissions to a short list of favorites by springtime. In May, winners and city representatives will congregate in Rio de Janeiro for a networking summit to learn about the best solutions.

Haselmayer emphasizes that "this is not the ideas competition" for people to revision cities with multi-year redevelopment plans. "It’s an award for technology that can save our city tomorrow. It’s about innovation but its about being able to use it right away."

Have a great idea? Submissions stay open until February 17. Click here to apply.

Image via (cc) Flickr user CarlosVanVegas

Articles
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading