Good Ideas

Cities Look to Public Restrooms to Clean Up Downtowns, Attract Tourists

Officials and advocates in cities like Denver want to capitalize on downtown growth and preserve public health by offering better access to public restrooms.

D.C. Hosted a Hackathon for Making Better Paperwork. Try To Control Your Excitement.

D.C.’s new innovation lab wanted to redesign red tape, and the city’s wonks were eager to help.

How Denver Is Preparing to Battle a Catastrophic Tree-Killing Pest

“I’m beautiful, I’m nasty, and I’m coming to kill your ash tree,” according to the “Smart Ash” campaign.

As School Starts, More States Focus on Native American Students

Strong Native American language and culture programs in schools have been found to lower attrition, enhance student-teacher relations and improve attendance.

Missouri Policy Shows Way to Safely Reducing Probation and Parole Populations

The policy aims to reduce officer caseloads so resources can be directed at those most at risk of re-offending.

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Zombie Invasion: Rethinking Undead Mobile Apps

Plenty of old, outdated, “zombie” native mobile apps are still around, swaying and shuffling around the app stores without serving a useful purpose for the government agencies that created them.

From Idaho, a Municipal Fiber Model That Allows Developers to Innovate

Ammon’s residents can opt in and out of the city’s network and switch between independent ISPs instantly—ending cable monopolies.

In Opioid Abuse Fight, Pennsylvania Tries Out New Tool: Facebook Video

In a crowded media ecosystem, can dialogue on state government policy compete against live exploding watermelons?

Route Fifty Roadmap: New Hospital Taking Shape in Vacant Mall Department Store

In Ontario, Ohio, a vast empty parking lot shows signs of life through an unusual new use for a challenging redevelopment site.

L.A. Looks to Local University Entrepreneurs for New Civic Innovations

The first-ever Mayor’s Cup invites applicants to pitch their ideas for civic engagement and boosting the local economy.

Nominations Deadline Extended for Route Fifty Navigator Awards

We’re looking to honor 50 individuals and teams in state and local government from around the United States who have demonstrated excellence in implementing great ideas. Enter by Friday, July 1!

This Bay Area County Is Filling Its Ranks With Emancipated Foster Youth

STEP participants receive paid job experience and career coaching in the process.

The Internet of Things and Cities: A Billion Points of Policy

Before diving in head first into the world of IoT, local governments seriously consider some of the potential risks when it comes to critical matters like cybersecurity.

Pittsburgh Will Give Civic Startups a Chance to Pilot Projects With City Departments

“It's pretty exciting to be able to open the doors up . . . And to really be asking the question of startups: How can we work together?” says the city’s innovation chief.

An Illinois County Provides Model to Get a Pill-Disposal Program Up and Running

Lake County knew that preventing prescription drugs from getting into a water supply or the wrong hands is important. And it got help from Walgreens in its prescription turn-in efforts.

States Might Want to Consider Advanced Analytics for Cybersecurity. Here’s Why.

Quickly detecting threats is a key goal with this approach to keeping computer networks safe.

Los Angeles City Controller Unveils New Economic and Demographic Data Portal

“[R]esidents, businesses and policymakers all have new tools to separate facts from fiction, and to make better data-driven decisions,” according to Ron Galperin.

New Peer Network Formed for Chief Data Officers in City Governments

The Civic Analytics Network will help facilitate the sharing of ideas and data innovations to improve municipal governance.

Here’s How Chicago Is Ramping Up Its Fight Against Rats

Following a sharp rise in complaints this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is increasing the number of rodent control crews. It’s using predictive analytics for targeting efforts, too.