Cities that Fail to Become Smart Could Be the Next Digital Rust Belt
Published: March 28, 2018
AURORA, CITY OF (KANE) (ILLINOIS)Community DevelopmentGeneral Government ServicesInformation TechnologyInformation TechnologyInnovationInternet of ThingsKANSAS CITY, CITY OF (JACKSON) (MISSOURI)Public Private PartnershipsSAN DIEGO, CITY OF (SAN DIEGO) (CALIFORNIA)
The third annual Smart Cities Connect Conference in Kansas City delivered an important message: become smart or be left behind.
At the recent Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo, Bob Bennett, Chief Innovation Officer for Kansas City, stated that the smart city “movement” will evolve to the point of being too ordinary to draw the level of attention it currently receives in the coming decade. According to Bennett, the Internet of Things we look at now as revolutionary will be quite commonplace – it will be needed, but not something we think about as especially noteworthy.
He also contended that cities that do not adopt smart technologies may get left behind, becoming part of a new “digital rust belt.” Many projects have been launched under the banner of smart technology, albeit oftentimes focusing on awareness, according to Michael Pegues, CIO of Aurora, Illinois. However, this awareness and awakening is moving small pilot projects to become large-scale initiatives. This awareness, along with partnerships among government, nonprofits, and the private sector, remain the road map for moving smart city projects to something larger.
According to Bennett, the next goal is to harvest more data, do better analytics, make predictive analytics more efficient. David Graham, Deputy Chief Operating Officer in San Diego, also believes the future lies with data, which poses both opportunities and challenges. Indeed, it appears smart technologies will remain a focal point for state and local governments moving forward, and it will be worth monitoring the landscape as these governments seek to develop, adopt and utilize these new technologies in the coming years.