Smart cities are built on data

  • Date: 03/24/2021

he key to urban planning and smart city development is data, experts say. That sounds easy enough considering the amount of data available today, but challenges persist.

“Cities operate a lot of things still on paper,” said Justin Dennis, CTO and co-founder of Urban SDK, a software-as-a-service company. “There’s a massive transformation” that needs to happen, he said, starting with the ability to share data.

Traditionally, each city agency managed its data independently, and what’s important -- or not -- changed along with administrations, resulting in silos across agencies and duplicative efforts.

“You have the Department of Transportation that’s responsible for operating and maintaining roads, you have metropolitan planning organizations that are responsible for planning new roads, you have city and county traffic engineers that are also responsible for it, you have transit agencies that are responsible for getting people around and using the facilities, you have law enforcement that’s responsible for securing it -- and all of those organizations act independently,” Dennis said. “While they still share the same roads, they don’t share the same data.”

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