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Addressing local, regional and global problems

The centre will work closely with policy-makers, city planners, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and the public 

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The centre will help the city of Tempe manage the risks and benefits of autonomous cars
The centre will help the city of Tempe manage the risks and benefits of autonomous cars

Arizona State University (ASU) has set up the Centre for Smart Cities and Regions to help cities use data analytics and connected technologies to advance their economic, social, cultural and overall health.

 

"We increasingly have the tools and the technologies to address local, regional and global problems,” said Diana Bowman, co-director of the centre and associate professor with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. “However, unless these technologies are developed and deployed in a way that is responsive and responsible, their potential benefits are unlikely to be realised.”

 

The centre will work closely with policy-makers, city planners, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and the public, One of its first partnerships will be with the Institute of Digital Progress and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council which recently announced the Greater Phoenix Smart Region initiative at the Smart Cities Connect conference in Kansas City.

 

On stage, Dominic Papa, executive director of the Institute of Digital Progress, and Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, spoke of the centre and the ways in which the entities will be able to work together.

 

“By partnering with the Centre for Smart Cities and Regions at Arizona State University, the regional effort will be able to continually refine smart technology solutions. This partnership will enable the region to harness the knowledge and capacity of the most innovative university in the nation," Papa said.

 

Current projects also include:

 

ASU as a smart living lab: the centre will work with the ASU University Technology Office to build a smart campus that makes the ASU community experience better. For example, the centre is collaborating with the Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering in examining the use of Amazon Echo devices in use by engineering students residing in Tooker House;

 

Governance of autonomous vehicles: the centre is working is working with cities, including Tempe, to manage the risks and benefits of self-driving cars;

 

Educational programmes: the centre will develop educational programmes around smart technology with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, including the Smart City Academy, graduate certificates and concentrations;

 

Opening pathways for discovery, research, and innovation in health: a collaboration between patients and traditional researchers to explore the processes around discovery, research, and innovation in health and healthcare where patients have created and shared a closed-loop artificial pancreas. The project, led by a patient as principal investigator, is supported with grant funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

 

“Rapidly emerging technologies, like autonomous vehicles, present both risks and opportunities to cities,” said centre co-director Thad Miller, assistant professor with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Polytechnic School at ASU. “[The centre] works with city policy-makers and planners -- as well as industry and the public -- to help them leverage technology to meet their goals and community needs.”

 

It will take a multi-disciplinary approach to collaborative research by bridging the gap between science and technology research and urban governance.

 

If you like this, you might be interested in reading the following:

 

Cities want more say about self-driving cars and flying taxis

A March 18 fatal crash during an Uber self-driving car test in Arizona raised safety concerns from mayors in US cities who often feel powerless to regulate the technology. Matt Hamblen reports on...

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True living lab for students unveiled

Arizona State University and American Campus Communities have unveiled a high-tech residence hall built for engineers

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Clemson’s smarter campus

The university’s new graduate engineering building integrates Johnson Controls’ distributed energy storage technology

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