Smart Region: The Rise Of The Activist University

Arizona State University is not a state agency nor a representative of surrounding cities, but it is instrumental in creating a regional scheme to force smart city tech on 4.2 million people and 22 cities in Arizona. ⁃ TN Editor

ASU is a founding member of a new “smart region initiative” to bring cities and towns together in the Phoenix area together to collaboratively solve challenges and problems using technology.

As part of this initiative, ASU partnered with the Maricopa Association of Governmentsthe Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Institute for Digital Progress to form The Connective, a consortium to help provide the greater Phoenix area with the tools necessary to create a smart city.

The city of Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, but according to Diana Bowman, the associate dean for international engagement in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, the metropolitan region is not up to date in terms of becoming a smart city.

“The greater Phoenix area is well behind the ball,” Bowman said.

But the goal of creating The Connective was to solve that issue by bringing the cities together. The partnership is meant to advance the technologies necessary to create a smart region by involving community and industry leaders.

According to Forbes, smart cities “bring together infrastructure and technology to improve the quality of citizens and enhance their interactions with the urban environment.”

Bowman said that the goal of The Connective is to “improve quality of life” in the greater Phoenix area.

“It’s not about the technology, it’s about the … individual,” Bowman said.

In 2020, members of The Connective have started working with different towns and cities in the greater Phoenix region to get an understanding of what issues they are facing.

The Connective will be working with partners in both the public and private sectors to combat those challenges, whether it be parking, water, transportation or other issues.

The 22 partners that make up The Connective, include Dell, Cox, Sprint and The Salt River Project.

Bowman said ASU’s role in the partnership will be accelerating the development of necessary technology by using its campuses to test and research in a sort of “sandbox” environment.

“ASU is really critical in terms of the idea of co-creating and testing technology, and the technology partners are already on board to help refine and drive it into the market,” Bowman said.

Dominic Papa, vice president for smart state initiatives at the Arizona Commerce Authority, said that the problem prior to The Connective was that cities were never really great at working together.

Papa said cities tend to focus on helping themselves and ultimately don’t have the time or resources to do more, causing various urban problems like pedestrian fatalities and a lack of mobility.

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E-Scooters Still Being Pushed Despite Urban Dweller Resistance

E-scooters and ride sharing were supposed to help save the planet from global warming. In spite of the fact that both are proving to be ecological disasters, proponents just keep on pushing them anyway.  ⁃ TN Editor

When they first appeared on the sidewalks of American cities in the fall of 2017 and spring 2018, rentable electric scooters felt as though they’d popped up out of nowhere—in part because they basically had. In cities like Santa Monica, California, and Austin, Texas, startups such as Bird and Lime didn’t ask local officials for permission before planting fleets of e-scooters, figuring that the shared vehicles would prove enough of a hit that cities would accept them. They generally were, and so by last year even more e-scooters, in even more towns, appeared with the dawn of spring. By now, e-scooters are an entrenched feature of urban life in many cities—but the wild-bloom era is ending.

Cities know that shared e-scooter ridership rises with the thermometer—in many northern cities, the devices are pulled during winter—but this year they’ll be even more prepared. Across the continent, local transportation officials have rejiggered their regulations for 2020, incorporating insights gleaned from recent pilot projects. As a result, the experience of riding an e-scooter—and the business of operating a fleet of them—will be different, and likely improved, in many cities. It should, in theory, be a lot easier to find a scooter when you want one. But your favorite brand might be missing, because of a culling of e-scooter operators that has already begun. That culling will throttle the industry, allowing some companies a greater presence in some markets, but preventing many from attaining national dominance.

While ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are now mostly regulated at the state level, cities remain in charge of overseeing e-scooters. After being caught off-guard by their explosive emergence two years ago, cities from San Francisco to Arlington, Virginia, oversaw limited e-scooter programs in 2019 and surveyed riders afterward to see what happened. Their findings generally supported the theory that e-scooters can provide an alternative to automobile trips, especially shorter ones. In Chicago, a survey of e-scooter riders suggested that almost two-thirds of e-scooter trips would have otherwise been taken by car, taxi, or ride hail. In Minneapolis, the city’s Department of Public Works ran a similar survey, concluding that 55 percent of e-scooter trips replaced one of those three options.

Encouraged by such findings, many cities are now moving to loosen their caps on devices. This year the number of permitted e-scooters in D.C. will grow from 5,235 to at least 10,000, and in San Francisco from 2,500 to at least 4,000. Jamie Parks, the livable streets director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, says his agency’s pilot in 2019 bore out the car replacement theory. “We found over 40 percent of e-scooter trips were displacing single-occupancy vehicle trips,” he told me.

With more e-scooters on the street, it should be easier for riders to find an available one nearby. That should boost overall e-scooter ridership, taking cars off the street and almost certainly improving the bottom line of operators, which are under pressure to show strong financials after having raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital to subsidize their rapid expansion into new markets. Providing more trips in a city allows e-scooter companies to spread out fixed costs (such as research and development and marketing). Kyle Rowe, Spin’s head of local government partnerships, says that managing a larger e-scooter fleet enables his company to invest more in low-income programming and safety education programs.

Simply increasing the number of scooters attached to a permit is all gravy for the operators, but there is a wrinkle: Even as cities expand the total number of permitted devices, many are getting ready to shrink the number of operator licenses they give out. That makes the value of a permit even higher, since more vehicles are allowed with each one, but it also means more companies will be shut out.

In D.C. the number of permitted e-scooter companies will fall from eight last year to four this spring. Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian says his agency wants to improve the user experience for scooter riders: “I know people who like e-scooters, but they don’t like having to jump between apps. So we’re trying to help you have more availability, and less headache finding e-scooters.” He expects residents will benefit from less congestion, as only half as many operators will be driving through the city to collect and redeploy their fleets. He also believes his agency can better monitor fewer operators, using automatically reported data to ensure they comply with rules around vehicle parking and equitable deployment. That could reduce common complaints about e-scooters, such as devices blocking sidewalk paths.

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Full Text of AOC’s Green New Deal

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez felt it necessary to re-read the entire Green New Deal resolution on the House floor because too many Republicans just didn’t understand what it was. Accordingly, she stated, “I have noticed that there’s been an awful lot of misinformation about what is inside this resolution.

Presenting speculations as facts is a dangerous business. The resolution is predicated on the first four “whereas’ statements, that could have just as easily been created using a Ouija board. Given these assumptions, massive government intervention is deemed necessary to turn the industrialized world upside-down and essentially rebuild society from scratch.

Technocracy News & Trends readers will already understand that global warming is a manufactured crisis to drive the world into the resource-grabbing economic system of Sustainable Development. Although Sustainable Development is seen as a creation of the United Nations, its policies were born in the bowels of the Trilateral Commission with its “New International Economic Order” declared in 1973. For a detailed history and documentation of this, simply read my books on Technocracy.

Nevertheless, just so you have the entire Green New Deal text in your own hands, here is it repeated word for word from the Congressional record. ⁃ TN Editor


H. RES. 109

February 7, 2019

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (for herself, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Tlaib, Mr. Serrano, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Lynch, Ms. Velázquez, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Castro of Texas, Ms. Clarke of New York, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Ms. Pressley, Mr. Welch, Mr. Engel, Mr. Neguse, Mr. Nadler, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Takano, Ms. Norton, Mr. Raskin, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Lowenthal, Ms. Matsui, Mr. Thompson of California, Mr. Levin of California, Ms. Pingree, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Huffman, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. García of Illinois, Mr. Higgins of New York, Ms. Haaland, Ms. Meng, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Cohen, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Ms. Mucarsel-Powell, Mr. Moulton, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Meeks, Mr. Sablan, Ms. Lee of California, Ms. Bonamici, Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Ms. Schakowsky, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Ms. McCollum, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Ms. Escobar, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Keating, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. Eshoo, Mrs. Trahan, Mr. Gomez, Mr. Kennedy, and Ms. Waters) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Science, Space, and Technology, Education and Labor, Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, the Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight and Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.


Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New

Whereas the October 2018 report entitled ‘‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC’’ by the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report found that—

  1. human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century;
  2. a changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure
  3. global warming at or above 2 degrees Celsius beyond preindustrialized levels will cause—
    1. mass migration from the regions most affected by climate change;
    2. more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual economic output in the United States by the year
    3. wildfires that, by 2050, will annually burn at least twice as much forest area in the western
      United States than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019;
    4. a loss of more than 99 percent of all coral reefs on Earth;
    5. more than 350,000,000 more people to be exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050; and
    6. a risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the
      United States; and
  4. global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrialized levels to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate, which will require—
    1. global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from
      2010 levels by 2030; and
    2. net-zero emissions by 2050;

Whereas, because the United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014, and has a high technological capacity, the United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic transformation;

Whereas the United States is currently experiencing several related crises, with—

  1. life expectancy declining while basic needs, such as clean air, clean water, healthy food, and adequate health care, housing, transportation, and education, are inaccessible to a significant portion of the United States population;
  2. a 4-decade trend of economic stagnation, deindustrialization, and antilabor policies that has led

    1. hourly wages overall stagnating since the 1970s despite increased worker productivity;
    2. the third-worst level of socioeconomic mobility in the developed world before the Great Recession
    3. the erosion of the earning and bargaining power of workers in the United States; and
    4. inadequate resources for public sector workers to confront the challenges of climate change
      at local, State, and Federal levels; and
  3. the greatest income inequality since the 1920s, with—
    1. the top 1 percent of earners accruing 91percent of gains in the first few years of economic
      recovery after the Great Recession;
    2. a large racial wealth divide amounting to a difference of 20 times more wealth between the average White family and the average Black family; and
    3. a gender earnings gap that results in women earning approximately 80 percent as much
      as men, at the median;

Whereas climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction have exacerbated systemic racial, regional, social, environmental, and economic injustices (referred to in this preamble as ‘‘systemic injustices’’) by disproportionately affecting indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this preamble as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);

Whereas, climate change constitutes a direct threat to the national security of the United States—

  1. by impacting the economic, environmental, and social stability of countries and communities around the world; and
  2. by acting as a threat multiplier;

Whereas the Federal Government-led mobilizations during World War II and the New Deal created the greatest middle class that the United States has ever seen, but many members of frontline and vulnerable communities were excluded from many of the economic and societal benefits of those mobilizations; and

Whereas the House of Representatives recognizes that a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal is a historic opportunity—

  1. to create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the United States;
  2. to provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; and
  3. to counteract systemic injustices:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

  1. it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal—
    1. to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;
    2. to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;
    3. to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;
    4. to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come—
      (i) clean air and water;
      (ii) climate and community resiliency;
      (iii) healthy food;
      (iv) access to nature; and
      (v) a sustainable environment; and
    5. to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);
  2. the goals described in subparagraphs of paragraph (1) above (referred to in this
    resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal goals’’) should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal mobilization’’) that will require the following goals and projects—

    1. building resiliency against climate change-related disasters, such as extreme weather, including by leveraging funding and providing investments for community-defined projects and strategies;
    2. repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including—
      (i) by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible;
      (ii) by guaranteeing universal access to clean water;
      (iii) by reducing the risks posed by flooding and other climate impacts; and
      (iv) by ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change;
    3. meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including—
      (i) by dramatically expanding and upgrading existing renewable power sources;  and
      (ii) by deploying new capacity;
    4. building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and ‘‘smart’’ power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity;
    5. upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;
    6. spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible, including by expanding renewable energy manufacturing and investing in existing manufacturing and industry;
    7. working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including—
      (i) by supporting family farming;
      (ii) by investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health; and
      (iii) by building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food;
    8.  overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in—
      (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing;
      (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and
      (iii) high-speed rail;
    9. mitigating and managing the long-term adverse health, economic, and other effects of pollution and climate change, including by providing funding for community-defined projects and strategies;
    10. removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution, including by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as preservation and afforestation;
    11. restoring and protecting threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems through locally appropriate and science-based projects that enhance biodiversity and support climate resiliency;
    12. cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites to promote economic development and sustainability;
    13. identifying other emission and pollution sources and creating solutions to eliminate them; and
    14. promoting the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services, with the aim of making the United States the international leader on climate action, and to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal;
  3. a Green New Deal must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses; and
  4. to achieve the Green New Deal goals and mobilization, a Green New Deal will require the following goals and projects—
    1. providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization;
    2. ensuring that the Federal Government takes into account the complete environmental and social costs and impacts of emissions through—
      (i) existing laws;
      (ii) new policies and programs; and
      (iii) ensuring that frontline and vulnerable communities shall not be adversely affected;
    3. providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so those communities may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization;
    4. making public investments in the research and development of new clean and renewable energy technologies and industries;
    5. directing investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry in local and regional economies, and build wealth and community ownership, while prioritizing high-quality job creation and economic, social, and environmental benefits in frontline and vulnerable communities that may otherwise struggle with the transition away from greenhouse gas intensive industries;
    6. ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization at the local level;
    7. ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition;
    8. guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;
    9. strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment;
    10. strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employers, industries, and sectors;
    11. enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections—
      (i) to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas; and
      (ii) to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States;
    12. ensuring that public lands, waters, and oceans are protected and that eminent domain is not abused;
    13. obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous people for all decisions that affect indigenous people and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous people, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous people;
    14. ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies; and
    15. providing all people of the United States with—
      (i) high-quality health care;
      (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing;
      (iii) economic security; and
      (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.