- Published: 27 May 2023
Creating a smart city requires two C-words: “connection” and “champion.” Without a strong network of connected devices, you cannot install innovative, problem-solving Internet-of-things technology, nor can you develop programs to improve citizens’ lives without someone to champion them.
That’s one of the key takeaways from the spring 2023 Smart Cities Connect conference, which took place in Denver, Colorado May 15-18, 2023.
On a panel discussion during the smart city keynote, Ryan Trujillo, Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Smart Collins, said that cities aren’t very good at adopting innovative technology, which is why it takes a “champion,” someone who truly believes in a new project, to push it forward. Indeed, smart city projects involve multiple different departments who all need to come together to make it come to fruition.
Take, for example, a city that wants to install public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in various locations. The city would need to work with the Departments of Transportation, Public Works, Planning and Zoning, Finance, Economic Development, IT and Public Relations. Someone from one of those groups, or perhaps even an outside third-party, must own that project and bring those groups together to ensure it gets done. Without a champion, it won’t happen.
Another panel during the keynote covered smart streetlight platforms and how they can improve economics, access, and public safety. Using LED technology and intelligent controls allows smart streetlights to be dimmed when not in use, allowing cities to save money and reduce carbon emissions. They can also be equipped with sensors to detect air quality issues or even gunshots, which can improve safety for citizens. Further, they can help with traffic management. All of this means that multiple departments could benefit from the installation of smart streetlights: Public Works, Public Safety, and Energy, but again, they need to come together to discuss and agree on the project to make it happen.
“If you don’t see a champion, then be it,” said Stephen Patak, Chief Revenue Officer at Ubicquia who spoke on the panel. Patak also emphasized that companies like his, who offer services to cities, need to keep in mind that partnering is better than selling. “We need to make sure we are not always trying to sell,” he said.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Jennifer Runyon
Quelle/Source: Power-Grid, 19.05.2023