Cisco announced yesterday that the Internet of Things World Forum is returning in 2014, and that it will be held in Chicago. That toddlin' town, as the song goes; that smart city, as today's thinking would have it.
According to the press release, the forum is a:
Global event that will once again unite thought leaders, business leaders and practitioners in business, industry, government and academia to accelerate the development of the rapidly emerging Internet of Things market.
Details of the agenda and speakers are not yet available.
Last September, Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel launched the city's first ever technology plan, promising increased access to high-speed Internet for businesses and individuals and more transparent governance, and encouraging technology sector growth. Tech business has been on the upturn in Chicago for at least the last two years, not least because of the dramatic increase in VC availability in the wake of Groupon's rise. It's now one of the world's top ten startup cities.
Of course, being home to a thriving tech sector doesn't automatically make Chicago a smart or super-connected city. But it's that too, as you can learn from the nonprofit Smart Chicago collaboration.
The aim of Smart Chicago is to ensure fast, agile connectivity for all, preferably based on open-source technologies. Among Smart Chicago's initiatives are:
It's inspiring to think that over the next few years, city infrastructures at the service of communities and citizens may well become the norm, rather than something to celebrate. But Chicago will get its deserved few days in the spotlight this October.
CUTGroup Yes, it shows that with a little incentive, government can learn much about citizens concerns and how city services can be improved. I am sure in time that investment in the population in this way will pay off by showing obvious areas where money needs to be spent. Poor services lose tourists, residents and investors and any information about perception of these things is very valuable.
That's using your noggin Fun stuff coming out of the Civic User Testing Group, and while I applaud all the applied technology and seeing what can be made to work, what's most impressive about its projects is the way it's gotten so many citizens involved in addressing local issues and challenges. Talk about smart!
Re: Cities Need to Be Smart and Supportive A "World Forum" seems to me to be more of an income generator for the conference industry in Chicago than a real example of Smart Chicago. While the city undoubtedly would like to frame itself in the picture of the internet of things, the reality might be a bit less. It would be in the city's interests of course to jump aboard the IoT and run with it big time, as should any mega urban area.
Chicago Health Atlas I read the link on the Chicago Health Atlas and was very impressed. Is this a very new concept? I think its extremely forward thinking to make this data so accessible. I only hope that is is being used by local governement to actually effect change and doesn't become just another interesting app to play with. I think the idea warrants a lot of praise but if it is to be useful it needs to be linked with spending plans so that money can be spent effectively in areas of health care that need it. Very interesting reading.
Cities Need to Be Smart and Supportive There's one thing that sets cities like Barcelona and Aarhus and Eindhoven -- and, yes, Chicago -- apart when it comes to truly being a "smart" city and that's the direct collective and collaborative support of city government, the private sector, and concerned citizens' councils. It's not a matter of merely "wiring" a city and publicizing it that propels a municipality into the realm of a quality provider of connectivity and information access for its citizens. In the case of Chicago, it is the collection of initiatives within the Smart Chicago operation that will ensure that Chicago is a success, and a paragon of technology and connectivity innovation, for years to come. Those initiatives include the Chicago Works for You dashboard, which helps keep citizens apprised of updates and changes; the CUTGroup, which enables entreprenuerism and promotes crowdsourcing of ideas that other similar initiatives do not; and the Health Atlas, which is something of a prototype for other similar citizen services that may as yet only be imagined. That's what's needed to really make a smart city a success and a true value to its public and private sector constituents.
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