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The term ‘smart cities’ was first used in its modern sense in the 1990s. Yet, as of today, no city around the globe can claim to have successfully integrated a holistic smart cities approach.
One explanation is that there has been a disconnect between smart cities technologies and the residents of the communities these technologies are supposed to serve.
Collectively, the governments behind each community are working to address challenges across mobility, sustainability, accessibility for lower income citizens, and more. Though each of these areas have different desired outcomes, the approach is near identical: it starts with data.
For governments to understand where they need to apply smart solutions, they need to have the data in two areas. First, they need to see what their city looks like from a data-driven point of view – e.g. where’s the traffic, where are the delays, where is the energy being spent, where is the flooding happening? Second, they need to have the opinion data of their residents – e.g. what are their most pressing problems, what matters most to their well-being, is the proposed solution adequate?
This second component has often been overlooked to favor a technology-centric way.
The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) will hold a two-day Smart Cities Dialogue on May 7-8, 2019 to help frame the debate on this paradigm. It will discuss how to develop smarter communities that understand urban life primarily as a social, and only secondarily as a technical and logistic ecosystem. Topics will capture inclusive engagement, smaller communities that may not see themselves as part of the “smart cities” effort, social and socioeconomic mobility as well as connections within economic regions.
In addition to bringing together key national and international stakeholders from local governments as well as industry and academic leaders for a series of insightful discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to experience ‘research in action’ and discover some of Georgia Tech’s latest solutions in this domain.
This conference is intended for government representatives, smart cities experts and researchers, policy makers as well as industry leaders interested in this topic and in accessing Georgia Tech’s cross-disciplinary R&D capabilities.
This is generously funded by the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the Strategic Energy Institute, as well as supported by Professional Education, School of Public Policy, and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. It is part of a ongoing infrastructure series sponsored by our GT distinguished-professors-of-the-practice, John Rice (recently retired Vice-Chairman of the General Electric Company), and Dennis Lockhart (recently retired president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta).
It is also part of our larger GT Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation Initiative that aims to drive smart cities research and education across campus and beyond into all communities and practice.
Past conferences include:
The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is widely regarded as one of the world’s top technological research universities in the world. In 2017 alone, Georgia Tech spent over $800 million in R&D expenditures and produced over 60 U.S. patents. Georgia Tech is also ranked #1 for annual return on investment (in-state) by PayScale.com and Georgia Tech’s VentureLab ranks as the #2 university business incubator in the world by UBI Index. The public university is mapping out new solutions and working hand-in-hand with industry and government to create the next big breakthrough focused on solving their toughest problems.