Smart Cities Council gathered inventors and technologists and pioneers and civic leaders in the innovation capital of the world last week for a preview of what’s ahead for the cities of tomorrow and the technologies that will shape them.
“My challenge to you,” U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) told participants during opening remarks, “is to keep thinking big, come up with great ideas and try things.”
A leading technology advocate in Congress who co-chairs the House Internet of Things caucus as well as the newly launched Congressional Caucus on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Technologies, Rep. DelBene said it’s important to understand the opportunities that advanced technologies and connectivity can unleash in communities large and small across the country.
The Congresswoman, who sits on both the House Ways and Means and Budget committees, said she wants Congress to invest “modest federal funds” in smart cities pilots to better understand their potential and establish best practices.
Conference participants had a deep-dive into some of the new technologies that will drive smarter cities, including what breakthroughs in artificial intelligence will mean for cities, how leaders can prepare for the arrival of self-driving cars, new technologies that are helping tackle homelessness and the latest advances in 3D urban modeling, among many others.
The conference was the first West Coast Smart Cities Week hosted by the Smart Cities Council, the world’s largest smart cities network and an advocate for more livable, workable and sustainable cities that benefit all citizens. Major sponsors of the event included Deloitte, Hitachi, Comcast/machineQ, Fybr, Microsoft and Victor Stanley.
More Conference Highlights:
- Innovation Alley winners — CNX and LocalIntel, both startups with solutions that help cities connect more effectively with the business community to spur economic development and innovation, won top awards at Smart Cities Week’s Innovation Alley. One judge called what CNX of Bowling Green, KY is doing to help cities unlock the value of their publicly owned assets for broadband expansion “a true game-changer.” Calgary-based LocalIntel, meanwhile, got the judges’ nod for its platform that helps municipalities promote their strengths, share market intelligence and support local business and job growth.
- 2017 Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Grant cities – Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia – all had representatives at the conference to share lessons learned along the path to becoming smarter cities. The 2018 Challenge Grant competition will launch in October at the Council’s third annual East Coast Smart Cities Week conference in Washington, D.C. http://smartcitiesweek.com/2017-Washington/
- Small towns can be smart too – In a signing ceremony held during Smart Cities Week, Seat Pleasant, Maryland city leaders and Council Global Lead Partner IBM formalized a partnership that will introduce an Intelligent Operations Center and other technologies that Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene W. Grant believes will transform his community of 5,000 into a “Smart City of Excellence” and inspire other small communities.
- Better buildings — Five leaders in the commercial building sector were honored by the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings campaign. DOE launched the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign awards to highlight enterprising projects that cut energy use. Honorees were: MGM Resorts, University of California (Davis), Sprint and CBRE, Salt Lake City and Emory University
- New partners — IBI Group, Semtech and Telensa announced during the conference that they are joining the Council as North America Lead Partners.
Launched in 2012, the Smart Cities Council is the author of the internationally recognized Smart Cities Readiness Guide, which provides guiding principles and best practices for an integrated, cross-cutting smart city. The Readiness Guide —which was developed based on input from hundreds of cities and solution vendors and has been applied all over the world— is the framework used to produce Readiness Workshops and Smart Cities Week conferences. The Council is comprised of more than 120 partners and advisors who have generated $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and contributed to more than 10,000 smart cities projects.