The Smart Cities Council recently held a “Readiness Challenge” workshop in Virginia. I’ve banged the Smart Cities drum on and off over the years, but gave up when I saw so little reader interest. But I’ll take one more whack with a percussion mallet because the “smart cities” concept seems to be gaining momentum. The fact that several high-level people in the Northam administration attended the workshop signals more official interest than in the past.
A big focus of the workshop was universal broadband — bringing the benefits of high-speed Internet access to rural communities and the inner city. News that I had missed: Virginia now has a “chief broadband advisor” — Evan Feinman, who had served previously as executive director of the Virginia Tobacco Commission.
Other topics discussed:
- Mobility options. Use smart mobility to reduce carbon emissions.
- Energy planning. Deploy smart technologies to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
- Public safety. Improve data coordination between state agencies to address more complex public safety threats.
- Standardize data. Improve data governance, develop a common architecture and data platform, and create incentives for data owners to work together. Also, prepare the next generation of data workers.
Information technology is not a silver bullet for Virginia’s immense challenges. But it is a potentially useful tool. Hopefully, some of the ideas spawned by this workshop will percolate through the impermeable strata of politics and bureaucracy to be adopted in the real world.
Read the Smart Cities Council account of the workshop here.There are currently no comments highlighted.