Microsoft convenes panel on how the Internet of Things can build sustainable 21st century cities

On May 14, leading public and private sector experts on data and sustainability gathered at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. to address how cities can leverage technology to offer new services to their citizens, optimize the efficiency of existing services and improve the overall sustainability of their communities.

Cities are the hearts and souls of our nations, driving our global economy and impacting our environment. With the world’s urban population growing by 1 million people per week, cities are under significant pressure to meet growing demand, modernize aging infrastructure and sustain the health and safety of their citizens under dwindling financial resources.

Kevin Kampschroer, federal director, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings & GSA senior climate change adaption official, U.S. General Service Administration, delivered opening remarks highlighting the agency’s strategic use of new and existing technologies to meet the high-performance and sustainability goals of Executive Order 13423.

Dean Garfield, president and CEO, Information Technology Industry Council, then moderated a panel discussion exploring how public-private partnerships can help keep cities globally competitive. Panelists included: Daniel Castro, director, Center for Data Innovation; Kim Nelson, executive director, State and Local Government Solutions, Microsoft; Douglas Smith, smart city solutions architect, Schneider Electric; and Joseph Hagerman, senior advisor, Buildings Technology Office, U.S. Department of Energy.

The conversation emphasized the need for interoperability among devices and services as well as public-private partnerships to build 21st century cities by connecting systems to the Internet of Things. In addition to using intelligent data to drive decision-making, city leaders can leverage technology to modify infrastructure to handle burgeoning populations and seek energy-efficient solutions to improve quality of life.

Following the panel discussion, we had a chance to connect with Castro to hear his thoughts on how data can be used to help building owners improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs:

We also had a chance to catch up with Nelson to further discuss how creating more sustainable communities leads to safer, better-educated and healthier cities:

Microsoft and our partners are committed to helping city leaders, citizens and businesses realize their goals for a more sustainable future. Microsoft CityNext empowers people — whether governments, citizens or businesses — to transform their cities and their future. People-first means harnessing the potential of all city residents to create healthier, greener and more prosperous communities. Through Microsoft’s CityNext initiative, people can take advantage of a broad portfolio of products and technologies, a global network of partners and a long track-record of successful education and social programs.

Learn more about CityNext at Join the conversation on sustainable cities and the Internet of Things on Twitter with hashtag #MSFTEnergy.