128 episodes

Municipal Equation is a podcast about cities and towns in changing times. Created by the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Producer/host: Ben Brown.

Municipal Equation Podcast NC League of Municipalities

    • Government
    • 4.7 • 26 Ratings

Municipal Equation is a podcast about cities and towns in changing times. Created by the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Producer/host: Ben Brown.

    EP 81: Generative AI in Municipal Government

    EP 81: Generative AI in Municipal Government

    You’ve heard of “artificial intelligence,” or AI, in one sense or another; we’ve been reckoning with the concept through books, movies and academic discussions since its earliest mentions in the 1950s. When you hear about it today, though, it’s typically in the context of “generative AI,” the rapidly evolving web-based tool that humans are using right now to enhance their worlds. Generative AI (like the popular ChatGPT engine, among others) writes up entire documents, draws up complex images, researches historical issues, drafts organizational plans, and even provides advice on complicated scenarios, pretty much on its own, hence the "generative" term; all you have to do is type in what you're looking for. It's pretty amazing. If you work in local government, you might be thinking about where and how it fits in; perhaps your city already has an AI policy on the books, or has used it to help draft or enhance language in public documents. But, like with any transformative technology, it comes with all kinds of cautions and ethics worries. Are we comfortable with it essentially learning how to do jobs we've always entrusted humans with? Already, we’ve seen trust in generative AI lead to embarassing, avoidable public blunders and messes. It brings privacy and authenticity issues, too. Did you know generative AI can sample a recording of your voice and learn how to speak as if it's really you, potentially faking out anyone who hears it? Take this episode of Municipal Equation, the podcast about cities and towns from the NC League of Municipalities, as a sort of primer on the generative-AI conversation in the context of local government at the moment. What’s the potential? What are the dangers? How can cities and towns use generative AI safely and for the best? It’s not going away. // Municipal Equation is a production of the N.C. League of Municipalities, . Contact host/producer Ben Brown at . 

    • 27 min
    EP 80: Comprehensive Planning in an Age of Change

    EP 80: Comprehensive Planning in an Age of Change

    When a city's or town's governing board adopts a comprehensive plan -- a big document meant to guide or manage growth and other elements of the locality's future -- it's a pretty big deal. Sure, municipalities across North Carolina have them, with insistence from state law. But for an individual city or town, it's a tremendous feat to complete such an intensive product in its purpose and sensitivity for the community, requiring all kinds of self-awareness work, public involvement, math, predictions, visioneering (the "blue sky" versus the real and practical) and, of course, time investment. On this episode of Municipal Equation, the podcast from the North Carolina League of Municipalities about cities and towns and how we shape them, we talk with a number of officials about how they view and pursue comprehensive planning guides, and how that might be changing with time. Philosophies, ideas for public engagement and inclusion, and plenty of other takeaways make this episode a solid one in the ongoing conversation of ever-improving and protecting the places we call home. // Municipal Equation is a publication of the N.C. League of Municipalities, . Contact host/producer Ben Brown at . 

    • 36 min
    EP 79: How Sister Cities Work

    EP 79: How Sister Cities Work

    Recently, during a visit to North Carolina by municipal officials from the country of Moldova, they and fellow municipal officials from around Wake County discussed possible "sister city" arrangements, to learn from one another and possibly create mutual resource opportunties. But sister-city arrangements can form for a number of reasons. On this episode we look at the impacts of sister city arrangements in North Carolina and beyond, and how it all works. 

    • 30 min
    EP 78: Ideas from the Alley

    EP 78: Ideas from the Alley

    When you think of downtown alleys, what comes to mind? Bad associations, maybe? The place to avoid at night? Ever since childhood, Americans have had the general impression that alleyways are dark, dirty, dangerous -- the right setting for noir crime stories. And that might sometimes be the case. But some U.S. cities are starting to embrace their alleys like assets -- as places to be -- with art, lighting, planters, seating and cleanliness. This is a classic episode of Municipal Equation from 2017, loaded with interesting voices and ideas. 

    • 27 min
    EP 77: So You Want to Commission a Mural

    EP 77: So You Want to Commission a Mural

    Welcome to a special LIVE episode of Municpial Equation, NCLM's podcast about cities and towns adapting to change, recorded in December with a panelists about HOW public art is achieved, with expert voices from the realm of local government. This episode was recorded at the N.C. Local Government Budget Association's winter conference. Special thanks to them.  2017 episode: Previous live episode with NCLGBA:    

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 76: Town of Cary A Best Place to Work, Nationally

    Episode 76: Town of Cary A Best Place to Work, Nationally

    The Town of Cary was recently recognized as one of the top three places to work, nationally, in terms of local government. What does that mean? How is something like that achieved? We speak with Cary Manager Sean Stegall to learn what they're doing differently. Municipal Equation is the podcast about cities and towns adapting to change, from the North Carolina League of Municipalities. 

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

Peter Whitley ,

Great for Community Activists!

As a long-time community advocate I appreciate Municipal Equation's demeanor; each episode delivers a sequence of useful insights. Lively, interesting and practical!

Commish Norman ,

City Councilman

Just started listening (unfortunately) very informative. Question on present subject matter would not need to be asked if we would used the tools readily available, and this is just one example. This is especially true for small to tiny communities that do not have the staff and or time to do all the research needed to make good, informed decisions.

Milam2323 ,

Well done and Interesting!

Love the Municipal Equation podcast!! It's a great listen that takes interesting issues and puts them into the context of local government. Awesome that it's local to NC but has a broad appeal beyond state lines.

Top Podcasts In Government

Strict Scrutiny
Crooked Media
5-4
Prologue Projects
The Lawfare Podcast
The Lawfare Institute
Anne Hidalgo - Paris en Commun
Paris en Commun
Red Eye Radio
Cumulus Podcast Network
Civics 101
NHPR

You Might Also Like

City Manager Unfiltered
Joe Turner
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher
Today, Explained
Vox
The Daily
The New York Times
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
NPR
Up First
NPR