Profiles in Public Service

The Analytics of Fire

Jeffrey Roth, the Assistant Commissioner for Management Initiatives at the New York City Fire Department, explains how his team is pushing the boundaries of analytics to inform operations and improve government stewardship of public resources.

Cooling Down Steam Heat: A Retrofit for Your Radiator

Marshall Cox, the inventor of a simple way to regulate the temperature of a steam-heated apartment, explains how reducing the energy wasted in aging infrastructure can offer new and important approaches to green technology.

Against the Smart City

Adam Greenfield critiques the prevailing definition of the "smart city" and calls for an alternative vision that understands and responds to the messy realities of human existence.

Local Connections: The Red Hook WiFi Project

Tony Schloss and Alyx Baldwin discuss how their initiative leverages locally controlled infrastructure, community-based applications, and youth capacity building to provide a platform for local communication and Internet access in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Urban Omnibus Writing Competition: Fuzzy Math

The City That Never Shouts

Announcing the winner of our Fuzzy Math writing competition: Steven Higashide imagines a near future in New York, in which a new City agency — the Department of Externalities — monitors and evaluates the social and environmental effects of everyday actions.

Eco-Visualization: Aesthetics for Sustainability

Juliet Helmke traces the origins and prospects of a genre of art that aims to educate and more effectively influence consumer behavior through the reinterpretation of ecological data.

Multitasking Infrastructures: A Conversation with Sheila Kennedy and Veit Kugel

Sheila Kennedy and Veit Kugel discuss integrating natural systems, material innovation, and digital technology in projects that reflect a singular and synergistic approach to architecture, infrastructure, and civic space.