Nigel Jacob on the “Why” of Smart Cities

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Nigel Jacob, Boston's Office of New Urban Mechanics
Photo credit: MassTLC

With all the talk about smart cities, it’s easy to forget why municipalities across the globe are turning to technological solutions for delivering public services. Here’s a hint: it’s not about efficiency, it’s about solving real problems that affect people’s daily lives and leveraging the scale of cities to take on big challenges that impact citizens, such as poverty, crumbling infrastructure, the effects of climate change, etc.

Nigel Jacob, Co-founder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the 2016 MassTLC Distinguished Leadership Award winner, brings years of experience in creating smart cities and defines them as, “the application of technology—sensors, data analytics—to vertical areas of concern in cities.” The question is, what should you optimize for with smart city technology? For Nigel Jacob, the answer is that cities need to optimize for delivering solutions that people want or need.

It sounds simple, but many technology providers struggle with this perspective. In Nigel’s TedxBermuda talk earlier this year, he lays out six guidelines to help technology vendors that want to work with cities. He also explains his team’s principles in approaching new projects. You can watch his talk below and listen to him in person at MassTLC’s The Intersection of Robotics and IoT event on December 11th.

 

 

Learn more and register for The Intersection of Robotics and IoT below.