Smart city technologies such as self-driving cars, connected streetlights and sensor-laden trash cans are certainly all the rage in cities these days. But before these connected technologies can take hold and begin delivering benefits to cities big and small, local governments must put the back-end infrastructure in place to manage all the new information coming in over the networks.
This is why Smart Cities Week has targeted “Smart Infrastructure” as its theme for the 2017 conference.
“Smart infrastructure is the foundation for future success, for better paying jobs and for a new era of prosperity for all,” says Jesse Berst, chairman of the Smart Cities Council, in a welcome letter on the event’s website.
Taking place Oct. 3-5 in Washington, D.C., the conference will bring together technology leaders from more than 80 U.S. cities that span across all levels of government to “see, hear and be inspired by real-world examples of smart infrastructure solving tough urban challenges.”
Experts will take on topics in four separate tracks, including: connected and autonomous vehicles, infrastructure investment, networking and climate resilience.
Kicking off the conference is a keynote from Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of PNM Resources, and chairman of the Edison Electric Institute. Quickly following the keynote is a discussion on “Clearing the Roadblocks to Smart Infrastructure,” featuring experts such as New York City CIO Jeff Merritt and Boston Chief Data Officer Andrew Therriault, among other top IT leaders who will come together to share the secrets of early successes with smart city infrastructure, as well as ongoing challenges.
Other highlights include a panel on “The Next Generation of Small and Smart Cities,” which calls on the expertise of elected officials and IT leaders in small cities, such as Cary, N.C., to lay out the specific advantages that smart city projects may have for small cities and where local government officials in smaller metropolitan areas can start with their own tech deployments.
Meanwhile, experts from Cisco and the National Telecommunication and Information Administration will speak alongside Andrew Buss, Philadelphia’s deputy chief information officer, regarding the best ways to bring mobile Wi-Fi and broadband into a city.
Tom Steyer, founder and president of NextGen Climate, will close out the conference with “Climate Leadership in a New Era,” discussing how many smart city efforts can serve to help the environment along the way.