Do Or Die: Cities Face Falling Behind If They Don't Implement Digital Infrastructure
Source: Forbes on July 17, 2017 | Julie Littman
Smart technology is changing how cities are run, how residents live and how businesses attract employees. For the last decade, cities have been building high-speed internet and using digital technology to expand city services.
Cities implementing these changes will improve the lives of residents, be more attractive to employers, increase real estate values and stand out within the international marketplace.
“Smart cities are much more livable, safer and vibrant and have more economic opportunities and workability,” Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst said. “It’s really essential for cities that want to compete in the global economy and want to attract jobs and talent.”
Cities that do not make these changes are at risk of falling behind. Even cities in the beating heart of the tech industry, such as San Jose, are running up against the challenge of a city hall with out-of-date technology. But implementation does not happen overnight and takes years of planning and significant financial resources.
How can budget-strapped cities provide much-needed digital infrastructure without the proper funds to do so? Enter public-private partnerships backing smart technology. Without these partnerships, cities run the risk of losing out in the smart city technology race.
Dallas’ West End is one U.S. city using public-private partnerships to get smarter. LED street lamps send notifications when bulbs are out. Interactive kiosks provide passers-by with city information and a place to charge phones. In the coming months, the neighborhoodwill have public WiFi, smart parking where people can reserve spots, trash cans with sensors that monitor capacity and better water management systems.