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Mar 16, 2017 / by Michaela Ross

Code & Conduit Podcast: Tech Helps Cities Get Smarter

From San Jose’s libraries-turned-coding labs, to Chicago’s connected air quality monitors, to Pittsburgh’s intersection sensors that ease traffic flow, U.S. cities are finding ways to operate smarter with connected tech.

Mayors and city stakeholders descended on Austin’s annual SXSW technology conference this week to talk about how they’re pushing ahead with plans to become smart cities even before the massive infrastructure spend promised by President Donald Trump.

But there are other ways the federal government can help municipalities develop smart city initiatives—or programs and infrastructure that let communities use resources more efficiently and serve citizens more effectively with data and connected technologies.

One way is to develop policies that streamline local permitting processes,  making it easier for telecommunications and tech companies to invest in communities, Chelsea Collier, founder of Digi.City, a platform for research on smart cities around the world, told Bloomberg BNA.

“When these larger providers and larger private sector companies want to deploy resources in cities, they will go to the cities that have the least amount of friction and ability to do that,” Collier said during an interview for BNA’s Code and Conduit podcast.

City officials often site public-private partnerships as crucial to bridging funding gaps in smart city initiatives, from public Wi-Fi hotspots to digital information kiosks.

Industry partnerships, local obstacles and issues are expected to be covered during a March 16 House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on smart communities.

You can read more of Michaela’s reporting on our tech, telecom and internet blog or on Bloomberg Law. If you liked what you heard in the podcast, sign up for a free trial of Bloomberg BNA’s legal and regulatory news and content.

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