Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

January 18, 2015

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (Jan 2015)

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 4:16 pm

Cambridge Officially Launches Open Data Portal
Public Invited to Community Training Event at CCTV

Open Data PortalOn Wed, Jan 21, 2015, the City of Cambridge will officially launch its Open Data Portal during a community training event held at CCTV, 438 Massachusetts Avenue, from 6-8pm. This event, co-sponsored by CCTV, will include a brief overview of the Open Data Movement, a Q&A with members of the Open Data Community, and a hands-on training provided by representatives of Socrata, the cloud based platform powering Cambridge’s Open Data portal. Computer terminals will be available during the event, though participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets to help ensure enough computers are available. This event is free and open to the public.

“Cambridge’s Open Data Initiative reflects the City’s commitment to using technology to increase accessibility to and transparency of information owned by the City,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi. “Cambridge’s Open Data Portal is one means through which the City can foster engagement and collaboration with its citizenry.”

The portal went live in July for a six month review and internal staff training period. During this time, the site was accessible to the public and the city also engaged with Code for Boston, the local brigade chapter of Code for America, and the Open Data Discourse (ODD) Street Safety Challenge.

The overall goal for Cambridge’s Open Data Initiative is to make government data available in easy to find and usable formats, therefore creating meaningful opportunities for the public to help solve complex challenges. Other goals of the City’s Open Data Initiative are: providing greater access to city data; creating greater transparency; improving delivery of city services; and realizing social and commercial value.

The public can access Cambridge’s open data at http://data.cambridgema.gov.

The Open Data Portal gives citizens the opportunity to access and use public information. Datasets can be reviewed, compared, analyzed, and used to create different visualizations such as graphs, charts, and maps, all within the Socrata Platform. Socrata’s Open Data Portal has been implemented in multiple government organizations across the country and even across the world.

Event information is available at www.cambridgema.gov.

– ### –

Cambridge Community Television: an award-winning, nationally recognized community media center that provides tools and training to foster free speech and creative expression, involving people from across the city as producers and viewers of media that is informative, engaging and as diverse as the Cambridge community. CCTV operates local cable channels 8, 9 and 96, offers hands-on media production and technology workshops for people of all ages, runs NeighborMedia.org, an innovative citizen journalism project, and a vibrant Youth Media Program, hosts computerCENTRAL public computer labs, and manages a dynamic, media-rich website at cctvcambridge.org.

Socrata: the world’s leader in cloud solutions for open data and data-driven governments. Its innovative customers include the cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Eindhoven; the states of New York, Illinois and Texas; US Health and Human Services; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the UN, the European Commission, and the World Bank. Socrata’s solutions – including the recently launched Open Data Network™ which unleashes the full potential of government data to help drive connected communities around the world – assist government leaders in improving transparency, modernizing citizen access to information and bringing data into every decision, all with unprecedented speed and cost savings. Delivered as turnkey services, Socrata’s technologies unlock data trapped in enterprise silos, mobilize and transform it into useful information that everyone can easily access, visualize, share and reuse. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.

Code for Boston – a Code for America Brigade: a volunteer civic innovation organization created by Boston-area developers, designers, urban planners, and data geeks with an interest in solving civic and social problems through the use of creative technology.

Open Data Discourse (ODD): collaborates with non-profit and government agencies to leverage their open, public data to inform data-driven public policies and social research. ODD connects citizens to open data and provides an innovative outlet for civic participation. ODD develops insights from data and impacts policy by establishing a discourse between citizens, stakeholders, and policy makers.


Renew Cambridge Resident Parking Permits by Jan 31, 2015

Alewife T SculptureCambridge residents are encouraged to renew their Resident Parking Permits, if they have not already done so, prior to the expiration date of Jan 31, 2015 to avoid getting a ticket on Feb 1. Renew online at, www.cambridgema.gov/traffic, by Mon, Jan 26 to avoid the walk-in lines at the Traffic Department and allow time to receive your 2015 permit via mail. Please note that you must have an active 2014 residential parking permit in order to renew online.

New this year, households without vehicles that have an active 2014 visitor permit may also be eligible to renew online.

The winning entry from the 2015 Resident Permit Photo Contest was Alewife T Sculpture submitted by Takako Tokuoka. The City is again offering the opportunity for residents to make a voluntary contribution. Proceeds will be allocated to the City’s climate change initiatives. For more information, call 617-349-4700 or visit: www.cambridgema.gov/traffic.


Cambridge Advances in $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize
Cambridge among 50 communities nationwide leading the way on energy efficiency

Jan 14, 2015 – Today, the City of Cambridge officially advances to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that is challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink their energy use. At a press event in Washington, D.C. today, Cambridge was announced as one of the 50 communities who are leading the way on energy efficiency.

“We are excited to get underway in this competition and to establish Cambridge as a national leader in energy efficiency in the United States,” said Mayor David P. Maher. “For many years, Cambridge has been a strong advocate for a variety of innovative sustainability methods and the Prize competition will help challenge our city to contribute further to a high quality of life for our residents. Competitions like these bring out the best in municipalities and Cambridge is thrilled to be a part of it.”

Cambridge is working on many levels to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to make the city more sustainable. The city, Harvard University, MIT and a group of major business partners created the Cambridge Community Compact for a Sustainable Future to leverage the intellectual and entrepreneurial capacity of the business, non-profit, education and municipal sectors in Cambridge to foster collaboration on creating a healthy, livable and sustainable future. Last year, the Getting to Net Zero Task Force advanced the goal of putting Cambridge on the path towards becoming a net zero community, with the focus on carbon emissions from building operations. The City Council passed the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance that will provide data and transparency around how energy is used in large buildings citywide, with the goal of providing the marketplace data to enable better implementation of energy efficiency opportunities. In Kendall Square, the city’s largest area of energy use, a new model of public-private partnership is being piloted using the EcoDistricts Framework, which emphasizes the integration of smart infrastructure, green buildings and community engagement to achieve district-scale sustainability. All these initiatives are occurring while the city is conducting a climate change vulnerability assessment. The energy competition will heighten the City of Cambridge’s drive to unite the entire community to embrace energy efficiency on a large scale.

“The City of Cambridge is committed to sustainability and we recognize that serious gains in energy efficiency are needed to reach our climate change mitigation goals,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi. Participating in this competition will help invigorate the community around innovative ways to save energy as we look to putting Cambridge on the trajectory of becoming a net zero greenhouse gas emissions community.”

“Cambridge as well as cities across the county, have told us that this Prize gives them the momentum to accelerate their energy efficiency efforts,” said Dr. Francis Slakey, Founder and Executive Director of the Georgetown University Energy Prize. Slakey continued, “these Semifinalist communities are leading the way for other small- and medium-size cities and counties to secure their energy efficient future.”

“The competition looks truly like America,” said Dr. Slakey. “Not only do these communities come from across the map, they represent the nation’s full political, social and economic diversity. Some are paying the highest prices for energy, some have the ambition to be carbon net-zero, but all communities share the goal of transforming America’s energy future.”

To learn more about the Georgetown University Energy Prize and to track the competition’s progress, visit www.guep.org, or follow the Prize on Twitter (@GUEnergyPrize) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/guenergyprize).

For more information about Cambridge’s efforts and ways you can get involved, please visit www.cambridgema.gov and www.cambridgeenergyalliance.org or contact Meghan Shaw at 617-349-5323.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: