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Technology has been the driving force of economies worldwide – but what about cities? Cities have to develop efficient operational models to provide services and infrastructure for their citizens; however, most services and infrastructure are built on a mixture of technologies that can span decades. Moreover, the rate at which cities have adopted new technologies has been historically slow, frequently with investments that are far out of balance with other important community needs.
Elected leaders are increasingly being asked about technology in the community such as residential broadband, how to welcome driverless cars, and how to embrace citizen-empowering health technologies. Citizens have come to expect rapid development and adoption of technology in their daily lives and in their businesses; they don’t wish to see lines drawn between the enterprise and the community. For residents and visitors, the expectation is for the city to meet ever-escalating demands. How do cities innovate and leverage technology to not only provide the services citizens need but also to build a model that supports the rapid growth required to attract and sustain highly successful inhabitants?
This Smart City Innovation Accelerator is a new form of innovation engagement established for Smart City and Innovation leaders as part of our Urban Innovation work at TECH. It is unlike any other Smart City event, as it is exclusively for city leaders and their senior staff and is focused on developing working solutions for your city alongside your peers.
The 2017 Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator is co-developed by the Fellows from the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard along with city leaders and industrial experts. We are thrilled to be co-hosting this event with Jamie Cudden, Smart Dublin lead in Dublin City Council, and his team in the great city of Dublin. Teams (2-4 people) from 20 cities across the US, Europe and the Middle East will assemble to work through a number of key challenges common across global cities. We will be bringing in leading industry, academic and non-profit experts to support city leaders in addressing these challenges.
In Dublin, the event will focus on the theme of ‘Smart Districts – how to deploy and scale’. As part of this, we will have a practical focus on the roll-out of smart districts. As an example, the “Docks”, a smart district in Dublin, generates over 9% of Ireland’s GDP, is home to many of the world’s leading tech. companies and is the subject of one of Europe’s largest urban redevelopment projects. A series of topics such as how we deploy smart districts, connectivity challenges, appropriate engagement models, success criteria and scaling of solutions will form part of the discussions.