A New Chapter is Opening for Smart Cities
Over the course of Meeting of the Minds 2014 in Detroit, my fellow attendees and I heard from a number of subject matter experts in a variety of areas on the evolution of our urban centers. Although it’s difficult to succinctly summarize the learnings from the event, my main takeaways were three-fold:
- There is a continued transition to increased local engagement in solving the challenges that face our cities. According to the leaders closest to these transitions, this is not expected to change;
- As a result, there is also a continued transition to more robust public-private partnerships that are changing the paradigms on how we engage with our local governments and communities;
- Technology advances are streamlining the fundamental changes listed above, enabling efficiencies and customization heretofore unavailable
These shifts are working and resulting in better government, better community engagement, and ultimately, a better experience for people living in cities. To me, this is especially impressive given the complexity of the issues and the disparity of interests (both real and perceived) of stakeholders. This move towards localization has been catalyzed by the financial challenges of the last few years and the forced shift away from federal and state programs that provided support because the funding just wasn’t there. What has filled the vacuum are wonderfully creative experiments that move away from “business as usual” and are driven by cooperation between local governments, NGOs, philanthropic organizations, the business community, and the community at large.
At Meeting of the Minds, we learned that there are several key elements to the evolution from cooperation in theory to successful collaboration in practice. These include:
- The ubiquitous agreement that “business as usual” is not sustainable
- The shift to the broader focus on the economic vitality of our communities
- The increasing comfort with experimentation at the policy level to address issues
- The ability to efficiently individualize interactions, and attain levels of insight previously not available
The last point, which is also an enabler of the first three elements, is focused on the increasing capability of technology which is enabling several shifts to take place:
- More directed experimentation (with diminished consequences if unsuccessful), thereby increasing the appetite for innovation,
- The ability to move towards reduced government, but lose none of the positive governance effects of government, and
- Increasing the relationship between the private and public sector, on an individual basis as well as with organizations.
Some examples cited in the discussions at the event include:
- increased autonomy for restaurant inspectors in New York to personalize the interaction with the local restauranteurs and community
- broad based mapping of problematic real estate in Detroit to develop plans for improvement
- kiosks set up in malls in various cities to enable rendering of services to citizens in a more efficient manner, and
- comprehensive water management systems for floods and hurricanes (patterned after innovations in Europe).
There Is Now A Charted Course
What is so important about the successes and best practices documented at Meeting of the Minds is that the innovation case studies created by these forward-thinking efforts now enable other communities and leaders to have a blue print they can follow to adapt these public / private partnerships, innovative thinking, and integration of technology to:
- Improve governance in a resource-constrained environment,
- Tackle problems previously unsolved by traditional means, and
- Integrate new technologies to lower costs and improve services (e.g., microgrid development)
This new way of doing things ultimately enables companies like Cardano Networks to deploy their capabilities to achieve the largest value addition to its customers. In regards to energy generation and consumption, it drives the integration of the energy value chain in conjunction with the IT value chain to create synergies to make new advances a reality (like, as stated before, the microgrid).
How It Relates to Companies like Cardano
This enablement is key for Cardano Networks, as it fulfills its mission to be the recognized leader of software and service solutions for integrated data and large-scale analytics, thereby enabling customized operational excellence and business value for our customers.
Cardano’s core value proposition is its complex, comprehensive, real-time analytical capabilities, enabling more robust, granular, faster, real-time integrated use of machine-generated data. Additionally, through CAN (Cardano Affiliate Network), Cardano integrates complementary skill sets from its partners to create a seamless solution so that the value proposition of customized and comprehensive use of large volumes of smart grid and related data generation can now be used to adapt current energy systems and implement new energy systems that are all more efficient, secure, safe, and clean.
Cardano’s capabilities lie in its ability to analyze the “Internet of Things” and apply them to energy and infrastructure and then integrate that analysis into the operations of defense systems, government operations, manufacturing, and other small-to-large scale operational platforms. Recent policy and partnership advances demonstrated at Meeting of the Minds shows that the time has come where these types of capabilities can truly be useful to our broader communities.
Meeting of the Minds demonstrated that with best practices spreading to other cities and regions and the continued advancement of technology, the future looks bright for us to improve the economic vitality, environmental impact, and overall quality of life of our communities. Cardano looks forward to being a part of the continued progress.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.
Read more from the Meeting of the Minds Blog
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
The country has provided hundreds of billions of dollars to recover from recent coastal storms but done little to rethink the existing policies and programs that contribute to coastal property losses, or to define new measures that account for the new realities of more damaging storms and rising sea levels.
A key first step toward smarter policies is to improve disclosure of risk associated with coastal properties. This will require better mapping of areas at risk of both storms and rising seas. National standards are needed for disclosure of coastal flood risk prior to sale. Lenders and supporting agencies need to evaluate and disclose coastal flood risk.
By incorporating multiple transport modes into a single application, users can benefit from personalised services which recognise individual mobility needs, easier transactions and payments, and dynamic journey management and planning.
A fully comprehensive MaaS offering could mean the ownership of private vehicles is no longer necessary for people. As mobility needs begin to be provided by a range of services through a single platform, usership could replace ownership.
The potential of MaaS has been recognised around the world. In the UK, the government has included MaaS within its transport strategy. An expert committee of Members of Parliament concluded that MaaS has the “potential to transform how people travel” by boosting public transport, reducing congestion, and improving air quality.
The water-energy nexus is not new. The concept that our water and energy systems are reliant on each other is sometimes paired with a third issue, like food security or public health. This can make it more relevant to our daily lives. Despite a basic understanding of resource interdependencies, city and utility leaders still allow planning and implementation processes to remain predominately separate. A common local scenario finds the water utility facing system upkeep alone, the energy utility not considering other utility issues or city goals as they operate, and city leaders generally focused on more visibly troublesome urban systems, like housing or transportation.