Smart city leaders told “keep thinking big”

Delegates were told it is important to understand the opportunities that advanced technologies and connectivity can unleash in communities 

Smart Cities Week highlighted smart technologies and the importance of big, new ideas
Smart Cities Week highlighted smart technologies and the importance of big, new ideas

Participants of last week’s Smart Cities Week in the US were urged to “keep thinking big, come up with great ideas and try things”.


Some 500 civic leaders and technologists joined Smart Cities Council for its first West Coast conference in Silicon Valley where the call to action was made by US Rep Suzan DelBene (D-WA).


The congresswoman, who sits on both the House Ways and Means and Budget committees, added that 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 modelling.


Other conference highlights included:

  • Innovation Alley winners -- CNX and LocalIntel, both start-ups 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.
  • 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 formalised a partnership that will introduce an Intelligent Operations Centre and other technologies that will transform the 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.


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