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Montag, 4.12.2023
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The city of Kingsport is progressing on a plan to integrate government into a “Smart City,” while also looking at what the community, as a whole, can look like in the future with technology.

Ryan McReynolds, deputy director for the city of Kingsport, said a consultant is currently in town, looking at the city’s technology usage.

The idea is two-pronged – find out how the city can better use technology to provide services at a lower cost and see the needs of the community, as far as the latest technology.

“It’s a look at who we are and who we want to be,” McReynolds said.

The consultant is expected to bring a master plan back to the city by late fall or early winter, which will outline best practices and best steps. Once the report is finished, it will help set guidelines and goals for the city for years to come.

McReynolds said the Smart Cities Initiative by the city began years ago after Kingsport started redefining its information technology department. He said the city stopped looking at the department as just a shop to fix computers to a department that can also implement technology to help better services.

He said that also serves as the backbone for “Smart Cities.”

“The base for all of this is, ‘How are you using the latest technology to give the best performance?’” he said.

Much of the use of smart technology for the city is customer-based, he said. An example of smart technology at work currently is the Connect Kingsport app, available on smart phones.

For years, most residents called on the telephone when they had issues in the city. Now, besides that route, residents can easily get on the app and report concerns and speak with customer representatives.

McReynolds said that technology can help the city bring better services at a lower cost.

There’s also a second prong to the study, he said. The city wants to also look at the use of smart technology throughout the community.

Much of community-wide technology lies in the hands of private businesses, not the public sector, but the information obtained from the study could possibly help guide some of the city’s “partners,” McReynolds said.

It could also help with applying for federal grants that could perhaps help fill any holes the city sees in helping integrate the community into a “Smart City,” McReynolds said.

The implementation for the master plan will act as a guiding document for the city, and perhaps the community, for years to come, he said.

“This sets the framework to make strategic decisions on technology,” McReynolds said.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Cliff Hightower

Quelle/Source: Johnson City Press, 10.08.2023

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