07-25-16

Urban and Social Policy Crowdsourcing Exercise

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The Urban and Social Policy Team of the French-American Foundation has invited almost 3,000 experts across the United States to participate in a crowdsourcing exercise. The aim is to identify clearly defined US urbanism and social problems that French-based practitioners could help resolve. Participating experts are drawn from local and federal government, charitable foundations, the private sector, nonprofits, academia and journalism.

The CUDC has a close relationship with the French-American Foundation. In 2012, CUDC Director Terry Schwarz participated in an international exchange that looked at challenges faced by older industrial cities in the US and France. Terry traveled to the former coal-mining cities of Lens and Lille and discovered that despite the differences of climate, culture, and language, Cleveland has much in common with French counterparts.

For example, in 2003 Paris experienced a deadly heatwave that claimed the lives of almost 15,000 people. Since then, French researchers, designers, public officials, and  residents have developed programs and projects to help protect the most vulnerable residents, especially the elderly, from the dangers of climate variability and change. As the City of Cleveland’s Office of Aging advances it’s Age Friendly Cleveland initiative with the publication of guidelines for staying safe in hot weather, perhaps there are lessons we can learn and share with our French counterparts. And this is just one of many possible areas of common interest.

The French-American Foundation is now conducting a crowdsourcing exercise to identify issues and priorities that French and US cities share. Participants are asked the following question:

If you could problem-solve/brainstorm one specific cities-related question with your French counterpart, what would it be?

Responses are limited to 1 or 2 sentences, so this exercise is quick and easy to complete. To participate, click here.

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