Articles by Jennifer James

About Jennifer James

Jennifer James is Smart Cities Solution Lead for global engineering company, Black & Veatch in their Smart Integrated Infrastructure business. She works with internal teams, clients and industry partners to develop smart and integrated infrastructure solutions that enable more effective and holistic management of city systems.

Ecosystems Enable Urban Evolution

The ecosystem concept, once confined to its biological origins, has found new life in the smart city.

When natural systems begin to evolve, there is at first low diversity and complexity. Over time, diversity expands, system interactions get more complex, and cooperation is necessary to ensure the success of the community.

Similarly, early smart city programs consisted of a limited number of participants and technologies. Many were top-down efforts that emphasized using technology to help city systems operate more efficiently. Over time, communications networks and the Internet of Things (“IOT”) expanded connectivity across sectors, assets and citizens. Accordingly, the range of smart solutions and participants has skyrocketed, and smart city silos are giving way to collaborative arrangements across sectors, solution providers, stakeholder groups and infrastructure assets.

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