Past and current project mentors: Shannon Delaney, Ovie Ruffin, Ryan Smith, Shari Metcalf, Emily Rhode (alum), Toney Thompson, Nathalie Floyd, Josh Edwards, Mariel Klein (alum), Sean Doig (alum), Erin Parish
With physical distancing recommendations continuing well into 2021, this was the first cohort developed to run entirely online. Idea Starters leveraged this remote environment in the innovations they developed.
|Project Title||Details||Idea Starters|
|City website usability testing|
Set out to answer these questions: How can we capture and use feedback from website users to help improve their experience? How might we work usability testing into our web development/content creation process?Watch a usability test.
View project overview slides.
|Katy Dillard, Communications|
|Herbicide system tracker||Leveraged advances in technology to simplify compliance with City protocols, enabling the City to track herbicide use and better protect natural waterways, without severely undermining the efficiency of maintenance companies.|
View the new herbicide notification app. *Please do not fill out and submit, as this is now a working form utilized by the Public Works team.
|Sam Jackson and Bill Hailey, Public Works|
|Collaborative green resource calendar|
Website showcasing environmental resources, including a list of presentation topics, a form to request a City speaker and and a calendar detailing upcoming environmentally-related events.
|Erin Harrison, Water Management|
|Futureproof work / outdoor workspace||Set out to retain the positive outcomes realized through the City's response to the pandemic, when the elasticity of paradigms threaten to bring things “back to normal”|
An offshoot idea leveraged growing interest in developing more productive outdoor spaces to work and gather.
|Dan Vallero and Sean Doig, Public Works|
|Arborist training||Set out to improve the way we identify, engage and train a diverse group of future Durham arborists, in hopes of yielding good-paying arborist jobs filled by diverse, skilled workers and healthy trees in all of our communities.||Alex Johnson, General Services|
|City & County collaboration|
What began as an idea to create a collaborative policy database, embedding collaboration into existing an process was found to be a more effective starting point. The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process emerged as a possibility to bring together a cross-departmental group of staff focused on increasing collaboration within the work of equitable CIP project funding.
|Lisa Miller, Planning|
The Covid-19 pandemic entered in the first half of the Ideastarter season. While some projects were able to pivot, others were put on hold. We appreciate the creative ideas of all 2020 IdeaStarter Fellows and believe they’re worth sharing and returning to.
|Sustainable City Hall||Watch the Compost Training Video with Durham Solid Waste's Muriel Williman|
Watch their final presentation
View their pilot materials
|Mariel Klein, City Manager’s Office;|
Tania Dautlick, General Services
|Grow Your Garden, Grow Your Community||This project recruited new and experienced gardeners from 3 departments and explored how we could create a virtual community to support and encourage one another.||Sean Doig, Public Works|
|GoDurham Engage||View their infographic||Darin Johnson, Budget and Management Services;|
Nathalie Floyd, City/County ICMA Fellow
|Mobile Charging Station||People are becoming dependent on a charge device in order to perform their duties using mobile devices. We can solve this problem by buying a 6-8 count USB “Technology Solutions Mobile Device Charging Station.” [Due to COVID-19, this initiative is on hold indefinitely. This project can easily be implemented once City Hall reopens at its normal capacity.]||Frederick Ravin, Technology Solutions|
|Connecting Microbusinesses to Small-Scale Retail Opportunities||This project's goal is to pilot a new small-scale retail opportunity for microbusinesses within a targeted community development area. These small-scale opportunities can help businesses build capacity and move toward self-sufficiency while minimizing initial startup costs. [Due to COVID-19, this project was put on hold and is on track to being integrated into future work plans.]||Brian Smith, Office of Economic and Workforce Development|
|The Exchange||The Exchange is a series of quarterly opportunities for pairs of employees to meet at a time and location that works best for their schedules. It gives employees from all departments and levels of management a chance to meet and create connections with those around them.||Emily Rhode and Miguel Torres, Public Works|
|City Hall Cars for All||City Hall Cars for All aims to provide employees with access to City vehicles parked at City Hall by creating a pool to allow City employees to reserve and use them, and streamlining the reservation process by loading an inventory of vehicles to be reserved following the same flow as a meeting invite.||John Stinson, Technology Solutions|
|Diccionario Geográfico de Durham ||In alignment with the City of Durham’s commitment to make City services available to all residents regardless of English proficiency, Diccionario Geográfico de Durham is an interactive, responsive web mapping application that utilizes the City’s GIS data to provide up-to-date resource information to our Spanish speaking community.||Quaye Trimble, Technology Solutions|
|Tech Yeah!||What if Durham could provide a safe space to try these technologies without the associated perceived risk? Durham can with Tech Yeah!: a safe-space “sandbox” governed by tech-enthusiast City employees, funded and supported by City administration, where employees with tech-solvable problems and tech solutions gather and formulate pilot programs.||Daniel Vallero, Public Works|
|Tactical Urbanism||Developed a “Tactical Urbanism Library,” where different departments and neighborhood groups could “rent out” materials to test ways to calm traffic, set up temporary play spaces, or even pop up shops.||Bryan Poole, Transportation; Laura Biediger, Neighborhood Improvement Services|
|Durham Station Placemaking||Improve the landscape of Durham Station by installing a series of art stencils to brighten the area and engage transit customers.||Annette Smith, Parks and Rec; Bill Judge, Transportation; Sara Young, Planning; Kevin Lilley, Stacey Poston and Rod Florence, General Services|
|Plastic Film Recycling||Tested adding plastic film collection to the array of responsible waste disposal already available in City department buildings, to reduce material sent to the landfill.||Dawn Keyser, General Services (Keep Durham Beautiful)|
|Mail Courier Services||Explored providing mail courier services for the City to save time spent traveling, parking, and returning to satellite locations, which detracts from other primary duties of staff.||Jina Propst, General Services |
|Optimizing Building Inspection Routes||Developed a route planning system that will equally distribute workload among building inspectors and optimize inspection routes by utilizing existing ESRI technology. Currently, inspections are assigned to inspectors by outdated geographical territories and then divided up through a manual process every morning.||Randy Stewart, Inspections|
|Project Title||Details||Idea Starters|
|Populating Urban Spaces||Test movable furniture in Black Wall Street Gardens on West Main Street to address under-utilized green space in high pedestrian locations. The three non-movable picnic benches located in this space were outdated, uncomfortable, and did not encourage visitors to spend extended periods of time there.||Brian Smith, Office of Economic and Workforce Development|
|Innovate Durham||Pilot a program for entrepreneurs to apply to develop, test, and scale innovative solutions with the support of Durham data and infrastructure to solve community problems and improve City operations.||Ben Kittelson, Budget Management Services|
|Custodial Door Hanger||Pilot a door hanger that would be designed to allow customers to notify the custodial staff when these items are needed. The backs of the door hangers would also spell out work details that the custodial staff performs in our facilities.||Floyd Hood, General Services |
|Durham Wood Yard||Pilot a Durham Wood Yard in order to make wood material available to residents instead of paying to dispose of it.||Alex Johnson, Urban Forestry |
|Bike Trail Patrol||Test whether using bicycles decreases maintenance hours while increasing the number of trail miles that can be covered in a day. Additionally, the bicycles could help increase the maintenance team's presence on the trails and provide an extra healthy option to maintain trails.||Daniel Austin, General Services|