Last Thursday, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and Boston University hosted an event in Washington DC on “The Cities of Tomorrow” which highlighted Boston’s innovation in strategic approaches to and execution of smart cities activities. The panel discussion featured Lauren Lockwood, Chief Digital Officer for the City of Boston, Azer Bestavros, Professor of Computer Science at Boston University, and Daniel Castro, Vice President at ITIF, and was moderated by me.
It was a robust discussion on topics like implementation processes for new smart city technologies, how to scale solutions within and among cities, approaches to inclusive design, policies around security and privacy, and models for public private partnerships.
The audience, including representatives from Congress, agencies, think tanks, universities, and companies, heard about individual smart cities projects underway in Boston and elsewhere. At a broader level, the panel also discussed how cities like Boston are developing new programs and capacities to efficiently and inclusively identify how emerging digital capabilities can serve citizens, strengthen communities, and enable economic development. Lauren described the approach to the recent redesign of the Boston.gov website, including how the process built in accessibility and how it is being open sourced to enable others to examine and build on the Boston team’s learnings. The panel highlighted the range of new data sources being created about cities by public and private organizations, and Azer described BU’s Data Mechanics course where students are learning and sharing how to work with and gather insights from such data.
These are just a few examples from the conversation; you can see the video recording of the full discussion here.
Tags: Azer Bestavros, Boston, Boston University, cambridge, City of Boston, Daniel Castro, DC, Elizabeth Grossman, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, ITIF, Lauren Lockwood, microsoft, Microsoft New England, New England, The Cities of Tomorrow, Washington, Washington DC