129 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

    Government communications, specifically the kind meant to connect with a diverse mix of everyday people, are always evolving in their reach, variety, and challenges. “I’ve been in the government communications side of things for 12 years, and it has changed dramatically over time,” said City of Hickory Communications and Marketing Manager Dana Kaminske. “It’s not just a press release anymore.” Kaminske, recently named Communicator of the Year by trade advancement group North Carolina City and County Communicators, in an interview with Municipal Equation said the city appreciates its media partners in helping to get the word out (about city hall programs, initiatives, proposals, announcements of immediacy, and so on), but there’s plenty more for government communicators to do. “We as governments have to be very active, just like a business, to communicate what I’d say our air-quote product is, and that’s our city, that’s our town, our government and what we’re doing,” said Kaminske. “We have to find what works really well for our community. I think everybody has to do that.” These points start off a great conversation between Kaminske and League podcast host Ben Brown about the modern and changing landscape of government outreach and information sharing, what the challenges are, what the public might expect, and what seems to be working in the state’s array of cities and towns. How does your town approach it? // Municipal Equation is a production of the N.C. League of Municipalities, . Contact host/producer Ben Brown at . 

    • 52 min
    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

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.

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