Why Miami’s Public Works & Transit Department Merger is a Game-Changer

By David Capelli

David Capelli is Founder/CEO of TECH Miami, an innovation economy technology company solving local civic problems.

Feb 16, 2016 | Smart Cities | 0 comments

Miami-Dade County recently announced that the Miami –Dade Public Works Department and Miami-Dade Transit Department merged into one new department: The Department of Public Works and Transportation. (DTPW). This bold move by County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is a game-changer for Miami as it transitions to the innovation economy for the following reasons:

One procurement process between two major departments in Smart-Cities development makes it easier for entrepreneurs to build solutions.

In developing Smart-Cities solutions to mitigate inequity in the innovation economy, the single procurement allows for solutions to address both transportation and public works problems in a unified way- allowing for a holistic approach to the development of Smart-Cities technology. One contract between multiple groups spearheads the civic technology ecosystem and ends the current gaps between departments and the private sector.

The door is wide open for Smart Cities, ioT, and other disruptive solutions.

New technologies do not have to create siloed solutions for separate departments and worry about integrating with unknown vendors. Reducing the number of vendors needed to contract for each piece of technology creates an infrastructure that produces a better citizen experience and opens the door for entrepreneurs to create solutions that can actually have impact. Internally, IT departments have a more centralized operation.

We will actually solve the mobility issue.

Transit is now Public Works and Transportation. This semantic change is important. The urban mobility issue is not just about new trains or focusing on one transit platform. The change promotes multi-modal transportation solutions, resilient urban planning and eliminating inequality on a holistic level: urban mobility is an economic issue, tied to more than just one mode of transportation.

Climate change is being addressed.

By taking two separate departments and merging them into one, the government can now more quickly and easily fund solutions that will help them better understand their operations, leading to data-driven, cost saving and environmentally friendly alterations to public transportation routes, frequencies, traffic flow/management, garbage pickup, water and waste management, and emergency services. Smarter city management and planning reduces carbon emissions. Furthermore, reducing the barriers for entrepreneurs to innovate helps our environment in the long run by strengthening private public partnerships to address problems holistically in less time.

Overall, the merger between Public Works and Transit into Public Works and Transportation is a small move with big game-changing impact for Miami-Dade County’s future as a smart, equitable, and resilient economy.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Read more from the Meeting of the Minds Blog

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

Cities Need Forecasted Data to Make Impactful Emissions Reductions

From an energy type standpoint, a city’s electric utility can make a big difference regarding which actions cities should undertake. For instance, a city in the service territory of an electric utility with ambitious plans to decarbonize its generation mix may want to focus greater attention on future emissions scenarios versus current emissions when making decisions on priorities. This would mean focusing actions on transportation, space heating, and industrial processes, since those would likely be greater contributors to emissions (vs. electricity) in such a future scenario.

The Value of Analytics in Smart Parking

While it may sound like a simple process, there are challenges to consider when it comes to the effectiveness of parking sensors, such as their location. For example, in-ground sensors, a technology used by some cities in the past, presented a myriad of problems, including ineffective readings that can result in unreliable data and lost revenue.

Uber’s Mobility Dream Might Be a Consumer Nightmare

In the long run, even the largest, most powerful cities will struggle to rein in sophisticated global mobility companies. Thoughtful regulation at the state and federal level will eventually be necessary. Cities are becoming more active in setting policy for emerging services like bikes and scooters, and can incorporate thoughtful requirements in their license schemes. There are steps that government can take today to avoid some of the worst long-term risks.