Pete Buttigieg

Mayor

South Bend, IN

Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. A Rhodes Scholar, he holds degrees from Oxford and Harvard Universities. Previously he was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company where he worked in energy, retail, economic development, and logistics. He is president of the Indiana Urban Mayors Caucus, serves on the board of the Truman National Security Project and is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He spent most of 2014 on leave from office while deployed in Afghanistan.

Buttigieg was named national Mayor of the Year in 2013 by GovFresh.com, sharing the honor with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and was called “the most interesting Mayor you’ve never heard of” by the Washington Post. Under Buttigieg, South Bend has transformed from what Newsweek called one of “America’s 10 Dying Cities” into a city experiencing its fastest growth in more than a quarter-century.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) cities across the country overflow hundreds of billions of gallons of raw sewage into rivers, lakes and oceans every year. South Bend is a CSO city and as recently as 2008 overflowed 1.5-2 billion gallons of raw sewage into the Saint Joseph River annually. The City also used to have 25-30 dry weather sewage overflows to the river each year.

Solution

CSOnet is a real time decision support system that empowers the City of South Bend with understanding, control and optimization of its sewer system. CSOnet minimizes sewer overflows to the river and maximizes the capacity of the existing infrastructure.
In 2013 South Bend commissioned and launched a Sewer Watchdog tool within CSOnet that closely monitors the City's sewer system in notoriously problem areas. This tool has empowered crews to be far more effective at solving problems, as they have gone from searching for problems to reactive maintenance, and most recently to predictive/preventative maintenance.


Problem

The City of South Bend created the first open data portal in Indiana in 2013, but the distribution of information through this platform has not had a measurable impact to further conversations with residents on how to improve city services beyond anecdotes.

Solution

Mayor Pete Buttigieg helped launch S.BEND reports, which helps breakdown big data on the performance of city services into more manageable and relevant information for residents. Through the Director of Community Outreach the City codes and catalogs each neighborhood’s priorities, then gathers data about city services like Vacant and Abandoned Home Initiative or Code Enforcement and reflects meaningful information, like the total amount of pounds of litter removed from illegal dumping in the neighborhood, while providing context regarding how the neighborhood fares relative to the rest of the city. By making this open data portal more accessible to city residents, S.BEND reports helps elicit action, including an increase in neighbor compliance with Code Violations, which reduces operational costs for the city – as city crews do not have to abate violations- while improving the quality of life in the neighborhoods.

 

How to steal this idea:

Learn more about South Bend’s open data portal at https://data.southbendin.gov/.

For additional resources, visit http://www.ci.south-bend.in.us/government/content/open-data.

 

Numerous cities outside Indiana have adopted open data portals and policies.

  • Charlotte in North Carolina developed an interactive tool that generates reports at a neighborhood; however, the data does not refer to specific city services.

  • The City of Chicago, in a partnership lead by Argonne National Lab and Brett Goldstein, are developing Plenario, a tool that analyses open data in arbitrarily defined geographies, but residents with low tech skills might still be unable to use this data. Learn more about Plenario at http://www.govtech.com/data/University-of-Chicagos-Plenario-Changes-How-We-Use-Open-Data.html.

 

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Problem

South Bend’s thriving downtown began a transformation in the 1960s and 1970s which brought widened one-way, fast moving streets that rewarded the motorists and devalued the downtown, moving people and markets to the suburbs.

Solution

Mayor Pete Buttigieg has helped lead the Smart Streets initiative, an effort to improve the role of streets within South Bend, Indiana. The initiative centers on the economic development goal of creating a sense of place and supporting a vibrant and walkable downtown. The public design-build process was innovative as it brought divergent segments of the population together to achieve rapid consensus, allowing design and engineering work to start the first project phases within a year of the first public input sessions.