Cities are built around silos. Water treatment plants are handled by the water utility; roads and bridges fall to the department of transportation; power grids are maintained by electric companies. Under this system, there are some major gaps—needs at the seams of sectors can go unmet, failures in one area can domino into another—but, more [...]
There are some investments that follow the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We buy insurance before driving a car, get a flu shot during the cold months, and floss and brush our teeth in order to stave off painful trips to the dentist. These are personal investments [...]
On Friday, May 16th, I was in Washington, D.C., during a torrential downpour. Flash flood warnings stretched from Virginia, across Washington and out to Maryland. Undoubtedly, thousands of basements were flooded and roads were closed when water rushed out of streams and into places where water isn’t supposed to go.
We are now living in the era of big data. The White House’s recent announcement on sharing data to help communities prepare for climate change is a fantastic example of the power of big data to address global challenges.