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Gunshot-detecting light poles, flood-sensing storm drains, solar sidewalks, autonomous shuttles, power lines that detect encroaching branches – these are just some of the ways Jacksonville is working to become a Smart City, a city that uses network-connected infrastructures to generate data that informs policies.

Multiple city agencies are working to transform Bay Street into an innovation corridor, a place to deploy and experiment with a host of new technologies, including autonomous shuttles. But while smart infrastructure and driverless vehicles steal the spotlight, Smart City initiatives, or Smart Region in the case of the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization's internationally recognized plan, also create a wealth of opportunities for local businesses.

"The business community thinks Smart City is just about infrastructure," said Jeremy Vaughan, managing partner of Bootleg Advisors. "There needs to be more education on what it is and how businesses can engage with it."

Enter the "Smart Cities, Smart Future" showcase May 22 at the WJCT Studio, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event is headlined by Mike Barlow and Cornelia Levy-Bencheton, authors of "Smart Cities, Smart Future," which examines Smart City projects from around the world. The event will also feature local experts, including TPO Executive Director Jeff Sheffield and Justin Dennis, co-founder of Urban SDK, which is rolling out Jacksonville's integrated data exchange this summer.

Vaughan hopes the event will show ways small businesses can seize opportunities afforded by Smart City programs.

"Our public leaders don't just want to bring in big companies," said Vaughan. "They don't want Jacksonville just to be a pinpoint on the map for Microsoft and Oracle. They want us to be a net exporter of technology, something other cities can look to as a case study."

Space is limited to 200. Those interested can register for free here.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Will Robinson

Quelle/Source: Jacksonville Business Journal, 17.05.2019

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