Commentary

Open government is quickly becoming a strategic priority of municipalities across North America as the public's expectation grows for greater transparency and accountability in the public sector. Open data is one central pillar of any open government strategy, but for most municipalities, it remains the most challenging to address. Open data programs require at least basic technical skills for proper implementation, as well as some sort of investment in a technology or program for hosting data. As a result, open data places a greater demand on the human and financial capacity of municipal government than most other elements of an open government strategy. Read more...

Infrastructure. It's hard to fully or simply define. Many of us take it for granted. It's absolutely vital for inclusive, livable, sustainable and prosperous communities. And it needs investment from all orders of government. Infrastructure provides some critical basic services, such as clean drinking water and power. Sound and modern infrastructure is also an important driver for our economy. Transportation infrastructure like roads, bridges and ports all help goods and people get to where they need to be efficiently and affordably. Those things are certainly important, but infrastructure is so much more. Read more...

Featured Research Articles

Accessibility is a very important service offered by transit agencies. We know that because the Washington Metro is accessible. Hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in our three-state service area can depend on Metro to get where they are going. Our 1200 low-floor 'talking' buses and 91 rail stations with elevators mean that someone who is blind or uses a wheelchair can use bus and rail. Metro can be the family car for someone who cannot drive. And for those who are unable to use bus or rail, there is our paratransit service, MetroAccess. Our 675 lift-equipped paratransit vans deliver over 2 million rides every year to nearly 40,000 customers. Metro really is very important to people with disabilities, and Metro will be even more important to them in the future. But it is not just about Metro. Accessible transit will become more important everywhere. Read more...

Throughout the world, a new set of marketplaces are shifting economic patterns by allowing people to buy goods and services directly from one another rather than from traditional businesses. Collectively known as the "sharing economy," these platforms facilitate transactions between users by making them easier, more convenient, more affordable and more trustworthy.1 Through these innovations, these marketplaces are unleashing a significant amount of economic activity, changing the dynamics of the transportation, accommodation, services, retail, and financial sectors. Read more...

Drinking water quality is a major public health concern which has been long overlooked by Canadian federal regulators. Our outdated attitude towards this issue has been strangely complacent. After all, does Canada not have a seemingly inexhaustible abundance of fresh water? Why should we be worried? Well, we live in a different world now, where global transport of environmental contaminants, accelerated by climate change and driven by the relentless push to raise the bottom line on economic output and GDP, now affects every water body on the planet. Read more...