Building smart and connected communities must include efforts aimed at defeating the digital divide. In Avondale, a traditionally under-served neighborhood in Cincinnati, OH, a woman-owned business has started to ‘light up’ buildings to provide open and free WiFi to residents, students, and businesses across the neighborhood as a part of a dynamic public-private-partnership.
The challenges that face cities in the United States today haven’t changed much. Cities still struggle with gridlock and a lack of transportation capacity. Poverty and crime are still widespread problems. At their core, these are simple problems.The problem is that because there are so many more of us than before, the solutions to problems cities face are more complex and costlier. And because population growth isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, cities can no longer take a reactive stance on fixing society’s ills.
A collaboration sprouted throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana is beginning to gain attention. The Regional Smart Cities Initiative is adding cohesiveness to smart city conversations and helping to develop an agile planning architecture to encourage smart, regional growth in collaboration with stakeholders worldwide. Leaders of the initiative are working with international bodies to create the first sets of municipal smart city standards, and are hoping to support the mission of democratizing smart planning.
Did I mention that we are centrally located between other major innovations hubs?