Because open data breeds transparency which leads to innovation: "The Town of Cary (North Carolina) joins other communities throughout the United States and declares Saturday, February 23, 2013, as Open Data Day. At this event, the Town proudly supports a community Hackathon by providing an open data website through a single web portal at http://data.caryNC.gov, which will be available prior to Cary’s Open Data Day Hackathon. This web portal will serve as an open data catalog for the Town’s available data sets. … Note: Code Across America is multi-day event happening alongside Open Data Day; any municipality or community can join."
Because we could all use a little down time: "The Sabbath Manifesto is a creative project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world. The National Day of Unplugging is on March 1-2, 2013. Join us in taking the pledge to unplug from technology regularly. Take the pledge at NationalDayofUnplugging.com. We want to know what you will do when you UNPLUG."
Because cities need to repurpose vacant properties: "Aside from the economic whupping of 2008–2009, a major casualty of the recession was space itself. Homeowners and businesses bled square footage, leaving behind a landscape of empty McMansions, vacated big-box stores, and now-famously abandoned shopping malls. … Existing mall mashups pretty much stick to the public realm—like Cleveland’s indoor gardens and Vanderbilt’s health clinics—but this spring a shuttered shopping center in downtown Providence will be reborn in micro form, with two stories of micro-apartments above ground-floor micro-retail."
One of the micro apartments slated to open in the Providence, Rhode Island, Arcade mall. Photo credit: Evan Granoff. Used courtesy of Arcade Providence.
Because libraries are already open: "Sharing is a fundamental part of the open source philosophy, and the same goes for libraries. Spreading, disseminating, and breaking down barries to gaining knowledge is a core mission of most library systems and their staff. That that end, libraries—which are essentially hubs of knowledge and gathering places for learning and continuing daily education—may choose to implement open source tools and software."
Because less really can be more: "Allstate has joined Progressive Insurance as the second company to offer New Yorkers the chance to save money with usage-based car insurance. Like its cousin, pay-as-you-drive insurance, usage-based insurance rewards people for driving less. On top of that, by constantly monitoring how people drive, it creates incentives based on behaviors that can’t be tracked by traffic tickets or crash reports alone. The New York City Department of Transportation is promoting the concept in its effort to cut down on dangerous driving."
New Yorkers can drive less to save more. Photo credit: Randy Le'Moine. Used under Creative Commons license.
Because, apparently, a shoppable city is a happy city: "The U.S. is a pretty unhappy place compared to Europe, Australia, and South America. That’s according to a survey of 10,000 people in 29 countries from market research company GfK Custom Research. Conducted in 2009, the Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index, claims that San Francisco is the only U.S. city to crack the list of the 10 happiest cities in the world. Who else came out on top, and why?"