January 5, 2018
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Smart Cities

Proposed state law would make computer coding a foreign language option in Florida schools

A proposed law that aims to boost interest in computer coding will wend its way through the Florida Legislature's 2018 session in January after failing to pass in two previous years.


The bill, introduced by Sen.  Jeff Brandes  (R-St. Petersburg), is designed to close the tech talent gap by grabbing students' interest early on.

Computer coding a language: Computer coding


The Rise of the Smart City

Cities have a way to go before they can be considered geniuses. But they’re getting smart pretty fast.

In just the past few years, mayors and other officials in cities across the country have begun to draw on the reams of data at their disposal—about income, burglaries, traffic, fires, illnesses, parking citations and more—to tackle many of the problems of urban life. Whether it’s making it easier for residents to find parking places, or guiding health inspectors to high-risk restaurants or giving smoke alarms to the households that are most likely to suffer fatal fires, big-data technologies are beginning to transform the way cities work.



What is a "Smart City?"

A smart city is a municipality that uses  information and communication technologies  to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.

What is a smart city: Smart city


Florida Constitution Revision Commission coming to Pensacola

Citizens will be able to present their ideas for amending Florida's Constitution at a public hearing in Pensacola early next year.

The Constitution Revision Commission will visit the University of West Florida on Feb. 27 to hear directly from citizens what issues matter most to them. The 37-member commission is convened every 20 years and spends approximately one year traveling the state of Florida, identifying issues, performing research and possibly recommending changes to the Constitution.



Smart Cities

News and comment on smart cities around the world.

More: Smart Cities


Florida's 1.5 million 'missing voters'

An editorial in  The New York Times  spotlights Florida’s antiquated system of stripping the civil rights, including the right to vote, from all convicted felons in the state. Citing an estimated 1.5 million “missing voters” in the nation’s third largest state, the Times calls the policy “destructive and pointless” and bad for democracy. 

Florida's missing voters: Florida's missing voters


Crackdown: Clearwater plan would foreclose on problem properties

Soon there will be no mercy shown to owners of dilapidated homes, notoriously unkempt lots and properties that chronically violate city codes.

The city of Clearwater for the first time is developing a policy to foreclose on properties with unpaid liens that are contributing to neighborhood blight. More than 140 properties have racked up a combined $18.6 million in liens, some as old as 11 years, city officials say.

Crackdown: City-wide crackdown


Expansive waterfront property primed for multiyear overhaul in 2018

By the end of 2018, Sarasota’s expansive municipal bayfront is likely to have a clear roadmap for future redevelopment, thanks to a master plan being developed for the 42-acre tract.

Boston-based urban design firm Sasaki Associates’ work on a master plan for The Bay is expected to do more than unify the city’s land uses and provide a cohesive framework for development, however.

Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO) leaders hope the blueprint will better link the waterfront tract — currently home to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Municipal Auditorium, Garden Club and Sarasota Orchestra — to the city’s burgeoning downtown. And in the weeks since Sasaki was hired in mid-October, city leaders have expanded the scope of the firm’s work to include land containing an adjacent boat launch and Centennial Park, at 1059 N. Tamiami Trail.

Forward progress: Waterfront property

Economic Development Initiatives of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce are sponsored by BayCare Health Systems.








Darryl J. Henderson
VP, Public Policy & Economic Development

Questions or comments?


 Next Public Policy/Economic Development Committee Meeting

Tuesday January 16, 2018 7:45 am, CRCC Boardroom