“It’s a matter of staying ahead of the curve with bandwidth and latency so you can get the data from where it’s being collected to where it needs to go,” he says.
Making a city smarter has become key for communities that compete for residents and business, Wallace says.
“Today, everything is digital and on demand,” he says. “You’re not going to attract the right businesses to your city or draw the workers they need to enable their digital transformations unless you’re ready for it yourself.”
Cities Use Data and Tech to Improve Services
Using data intelligently is key, says Michael Rodriguez, CIO for Memphis, Tenn. The city of 650,000 people is working on a wide range of data-driven initiatives — among them, apps that make trash pickup more efficient by sharing information across city fleets, cameras mounted on buses to identify the location of potholes, and AI-based video systems that identify unusual activity and alert security personnel.
The city is also working with the University of Memphis to develop virtual reality walk-throughs of buildings that will enable first responders to become familiar with their interiors.
“We want to eventually create a heads-up display that will allow them to see through the smoke,” Rodriguez says. “We’re creating better situational awareness for our first responders, which has the potential to save lives.”