Mayor Betsy Price, third from left, was on a panel with other government leaders and technology experts to discuss the Smart City Ecosystem.
Fort Worth-based Bell Textron Inc. revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a vivid look into the future of the smart city ecosystem. The Bell Nexus air taxi and the Autonomous Pod Transport — both groundbreaking technologies — will coexist to move people, products and information across connected cities.
“With a focus on the passenger experience, we revealed the technology and the vehicle that will revolutionize transportation in cities at CES 2019; this year, we’re demonstrating what governing, operating, working and living in a smart city will look like,” said Mitch Snyder, Bell president and CEO.
Mayor Betsy Price participated in a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show titled Exploring the DFW Smart City Ecosystem. “Now it’s our job as leaders in government to be risk takers. Technology is coming,” Price said during the panel discussion.
In a world where nearly 70% of the population will be living in urban areas by 2050 and cities are outgrowing their current transportations systems, the need for urban mobility solutions has never been greater. Fortunately, the transportation industry has reached an inflection point, and many of the world’s top minds are working toward solutions for the optimal smart city design. Bell remains at the forefront of this pursuit with a clear mission of finding solutions to the infrastructure challenges of tomorrow’s transportation networks. These solutions and many smart city elements were on display in Bell’s Nexus City on the CES floor:
Bell featured its MaaS plans, which look beyond the aircraft and demonstrate how to integrate MaaS into communities, making on-demand air mobility available to everyone, whenever they need it.
“Bell continues to lead the conversation beyond the aircraft to offer multimodal transportation solutions and experiences within an interconnected digital network that will excite consumers, earn their trust and make their lives easier,” Snyder said.
The 35th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration is planned for noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 15. The public is invited to the event at Ella Mae Shamblee Library, 1062 Evans Ave.
Commemorate and celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with the screening of a short film, Mighty Times: The Children’s March. The 40-minute Academy Award-winning film uses archival footage, interviews and re-enactments to shed light on the children of Baltimore, who took to the streets for civil rights in 1963. A moderated discussion will follow the film.
Two upcoming parades celebrate the rich heritage and traditions of Fort Worth. You won’t want to miss these events:
Fort Worth Stock Show Parade
The Fort Worth Stock Show’s All Western Parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 18 in downtown Fort Worth. Nearly 100,000 spectators line the streets of downtown Cowtown to watch this spectacular annual event. Plenty of horses and other livestock can be seen — but no motorized vehicles are allowed.
The parade starts at the corner of Weatherford and Main streets, heads south on Main Street to Ninth Street, then north on Houston Street before ending at Houston and Bluff streets.
To reserve parade seating, contact the ticket office at 817-877-2420 and keep your seat ticket because it also serves as general admission to the Stock Show grounds any day during the 23-day run (rodeo performances are not included).
To learn about all the western activities coming up Jan. 17-Feb. 8, check out the Stock Show’s website.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade
Fort Worth’s 35th annual tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. steps off at 11 a.m. Jan. 20.
The parade begins at Ninth and Commerce streets, heads west on Ninth Street, north on Houston Street, east on Weatherford Street, south on Main Street before ending with a rally at Sundance Square Plaza from about noon-1:30 p.m.
Dignitaries gathered on Wednesday to break ground for a new Animal Care and Adoption Campus in far north Fort Worth, adding capacity to the existing shelter in southeast Fort Worth.
The new facility is adjacent to the North Service Center and Drop-off Station at 301 Hillshire Drive. Construction is scheduled to be completed in January 2021.
Voters approved $13.7 million in the 2018 bond election to build the state-of-the-art facility. The current shelter was built in 1998.
The focus at the new shelter will be on open spaces. There will be an adoption center with plenty of space for potential adopters to meet pets; a veterinary clinic with surgery and triage units; sallyport for animal arrivals; open work spaces to enhance engagement among the staff caring for the animals; and plentiful indoor kennels with attached outdoor spaces.
This new campus is sorely needed in the fast-growing northern stretches of Fort Worth, Mayor Betsy Price said. “With all the rooftops and jobs being added north of 820, we really need a spacious and modern facility like this up here,” she said. “And its design is ideal because the open concept puts less stress on the animals and helps staff control diseases in the pet population.”
District 7 Councilmember Dennis Shingleton added: “This beautiful shelter is so needed. Now we will have a place in our own backyards where we can take care of our animals.”
North Texans may recognize the look of the buildings — they are inspired by the cattle barns at Will Rogers Memorial Center. The design focus is on the simplicity of nature, steel, concrete and glass. The eight-acre facility will be situated around an existing pond with a native prairie landscape.
The It’s Time Texas Community Challenge is now underway. It’s an easy and fun way for entire Texas communities to demonstrate their commitment to healthy living. The challenge is being brought to Fort Worth by FitWorth.
The challenge is an eight-week competition that unites and mobilizes schools, businesses, organizations, community members and mayors toward the common goal of transforming a community’s health.
Here’s how it works:
Fort Worth Bike Sharing riders cruise through Sundance Square.
Fort Worth Bike Sharing continues to roll up impressive numbers.
Some 2019 statistics for the program:
263,483 estimated carbon offsets. (A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere.)
11 million estimated calories burned.
Currently there are 46 stations in the system, and 350 bicycles.
The mission of the city’s stormwater program is to protect people and property from harmful stormwater runoff. The additional revenue from the 6.5% fee increase will provide capacity for roughly $70 million in bonds to expedite the delivery of high-priority capital improvements to:
Mitigate hazardous road overtopping locations, which present one of the highest risks to life safety.
Rehabilitate aging, critical storm drain pipes to ensure they continue to effectively convey stormwater.
Restore channels that are significantly threatening adjacent infrastructure/property.
Reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses.
Monthly rates will increase beginning with the January 2020 water billing cycle.
Non-residential and multi-family
Rates for non-residential and multi-family properties will increase 35 cents for every 2,600 square feet of hard surface (2,600 square feet of hard surface equals 1 billing unit). That means the current monthly rate of $5.40 per billing unit will increase to $5.75. For example, the fee for a commercial property with a total hard surface area of 25,000 square feet (.57 acre) will be $57.50, calculated in this way:
25,000 square feet / 2,600 square feet = 9.6 billing units, rounded to 10 billing units. 10 billing units x $5.75 (new rate) per month = $57.50.
Learn more about 2020 stormwater rates online.
Getting around town while moving naturally will be easier and more fun in 2020. Blue Zones Project, the well-being improvement initiative, is partnering with Fort Worth Bike Sharing to provide free BCycle rides on the first Friday of every month throughout the year.
Called “Free First Fri-Yay,” the program offers a free Bike Sharing Day Pass with promotion code 92020 at any Bike Sharing kiosk. Users of the BCycle app can enter promo code 92020APP to get the free pass.
Free First Fri-Yay dates in 2020 are:
“We’re excited to partner with Blue Zones Project to enable more residents to experience Fort Worth on a BCycle,” said Jennifer Grissom, executive director of Fort Worth Bike Sharing. “Not only is it a fun and convenient way to get around town, but it supports natural movement, social interaction and family time – Blue Zones principles known for supporting health and well-being.”
To launch Free First Fri-Yay, Fort Worth residents are invited to a free family-friendly ride from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 3, the first Friday of the year. The ride will start at Gateway Park East Trailhead (5400 E. First St.), site of Fort Worth Bike Sharing’s newest BCycle station, and make a five-mile loop through the park. A two-mile route will be available for those opting for a shorter ride.
Blue Zones Project will be there with additional games and goodies for all ages. Riders can bring their own bikes or reserve a free BCycle by registering online.
Helmets are strongly suggested. A limited supply of helmets will be available for use. It is recommended that children be 5 feet tall to sufficiently ride a BCycle. The event will be held, weather permitting - double check on the Fort Worth Blue Zones Project and Fort Worth Bike Sharing Facebook pages before heading out.
Show your love for Fort Worth at the seventh annual meeting of Visit Fort Worth on Valentine’s Day.
The event will feature keynote speaker and music producer T Bone Burnett, a Fort Worth native honored with Academy and Grammy Awards. Mayor Betsy Price will receive the annual Hospitality Award for her efforts to promote the city. A new service award will recognize an outstanding employee working for a hotel, attraction or other organization that welcomes visitors.
The breakfast meeting will be at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Omni Fort Worth, 1300 Houston St.
The event will highlight action on the Destination Master Plan, the community’s roadmap for tourism. Progress in sports, marketing, conventions, music and filmmaking are growing Fort Worth’s $9.4 billion visitor economy.
“From the new Dickies Arena to the renovated Stockyards, Fort Worth is giving visitors more reasons to see Fort Worth,” said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth. “With consistent visitor growth, we now need to help more people stay longer and spend more.”
Major landmarks in the visitor economy lie ahead in 2020, including:
Beginning design work on the Fort Worth Convention Center expansion.
Nationally-televised sporting events at Dickies Arena.
Unprecedented hotel growth downtown and in the Stockyards.
The annual Hospitality Award spotlights individuals and organizations who promote Fort Worth and help grow the visitor economy. Mayor Price, serving her fifth term, has logged tens of thousands of miles selling Fort Worth for tourism and economic development.
“Our local economy has benefitted from the growth in tourism under Mayor Price’s leadership,” said Rosa Navejar, chairman of the Visit Fort Worth Board of Directors. “We want to recognize her efforts promoting Fort Worth around the world and improving our reputation as a healthy, active city.”
To secure seats at the meeting, register online by Feb. 13..
Customers with young children can now borrow a book at the entrance of some area Tom Thumb grocery stores for children to enjoy while they shop.
But the books aren’t just to entertain children. The books were intentionally selected to engage and educate children about the many things they might see while in a grocery store – particularly healthy fruits and vegetables, where food comes from, and the importance of those who provide our food.
Some books also cover mindfulness, another topic that is important to well-being, especially in children. The books are available for a variety of age levels — even picture books for the youngest shoppers.
Stephanie Jackson, director of strategic partnerships for Blue Zones Project Fort Worth, said providing books and supporting literacy is key to creating a community that embraces and supports children and their families.
“This initiative supports the whole child,” Jackson said. “Promoting physical, emotional and nutritional well-being ultimately supports positive learning outcomes.”
Books are currently available at the Hulen and Camp Bowie Tom Thumb locations and will soon expand to additional Tom Thumb and Albertsons Fort Worth stores. They will also soon be added at Central Market’s Fort Worth store.
Jackson said store managers were enthusiastic to collaborate with Blue Zones Project to support the pilot program and increase reading in the community.
“Albertsons Tom Thumb was aware of Fort Worth’s reading initiative and thought it would be a great way to support families, especially at the early stages of development during their shopping experience,” she said.
This isn’t the first Blue Zones Project program that has involved literacy as a component of well-being. Blue Zones Project is active with the city’s Read Fort Worth initiative and often provides books to area schools that support their Blue Zones actions. But it’s the first collaboration involving area grocery stores.
“Having our Blue Zones Project Approved grocers partner with us is another way we can support our community and make those small changes that ensure our community is a healthier and happier place to live,” said Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project Fort Worth.
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