New leaders must embrace the work of managing others and not slip back into the comfort zone of doing the work themselves, writes Naphtali Hoff. Learn to lead by celebrating small wins, communicating regularly, thinking bigger about the business' future and delegating tasks.
As in many other cities, Camden, N.J.'s combined sewer-stormwater system is no longer efficient because when it was built, the area absorbed much more rainwater. Separating the system to address periodic flooding would be too costly, so the county government is pursuing $80 million for a thorough cleanout of the system, with much of the funding directed toward deferred maintenance.
Leaders can provide more useful feedback to staff if they focus on comments that encourage growth and development, writes Mary Jo Asmus. Make observations brief and unembellished, avoid interrupting or being judgmental, offer empathy and support and follow up later to encourage improvements, she says.
Dallas County commissioners have approved a contract between the city of Dallas and Motorola to upgrade the area's radio system to the digital Project 25 system, recommended after the 9/11 attacks. The digital system would allow first responders from all areas to communicate instantly in the case of a major incident, encrypt conversations and track the locations of first responders.
The future of ride-sharing and driverless vehicles means that cities will need less space to store vehicles, and parking garages, parking lots and curbside parking should no longer be a priority, according to a report from the Regional Plan Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. A number of cities are reducing parking requirements for new developments or experimenting with ways to discourage downtown parking.
The National Recreation and Park Association has partnered with the American Planning Association and the Low Impact Development Center to produce a guide for urban parks agencies on developing stormwater infrastructure. The guide includes details on flood-control strategies and funding ideas.
Oregon's state parks created an economic benefit of $1.1 billion last year, says the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The parks collectively had 54 million visitors and supported 16,000 jobs, including part-time positions.
A crowdfunding effort has been launched by Howell Main Street Downtown Development Authority officials in Howell, Mich., to raise nearly $7,000 for materials to create a pop-up park. The park would feature artificial turf, seating, games and play materials for children.
Elizabeth Smith has been named the Central Park Conservancy's president and CEO. Smith, who was an assistant New York City parks commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, replaces Douglas Blonsky.
Urban planning that emphasizes children's needs could have long-term positive effects on cities, according to a report by international consulting firm Arup. "Perhaps uniquely, a child-friendly approach has the potential to unite a range of progressive agendas -- including health and wellbeing, sustainability, resilience and safety -- and to act as a catalyst for urban innovation," the report said.
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