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Smart Cities, Autonomous Cars and Parking Today

We pull together the editorial for PT a month before the date on the cover. So I am working on April. I get stories from my usual sources ( our columnists, and unsolicited “over the transom” plus the odd request from me.) PIE has been a slight distraction, so there have been few “requests” for April. Astrid and I have been talking about doing more with transportation and ‘smart cities’ but I haven’t really done much soliciting of articles except for turning her loose on a first article. (Smart Cities and LAX).

Then I noticed a trend in the articles I was editing and formatting for April. Kathleen wrote on Social Media and Smart Cities. Melissa pondered on just how Smart a city was that ticketed homeless. Wes Guckert sent in a well thought out article on autonomous vehicles, and Suzannah at Spot Hero has a great infographic on the affect of ride sharing on Parking. Gorm Tuxen supplied a super article on smart city technology and sensor technology.

What’s that, half of our articles for April deal with Smart Cities or Transportation. And we didn’t plan it, it just happened.

Folks who think about these things, are thinking about Smart Cities. But when I read through the articles, half of them approached it from the point of view of making your city smarter without using technology, but rethinking how to approach the city’s problems. Astrid mused on how to cut down the congestion at the airport, Melissa had a great idea on how to solve the ticketing of the homeless problem, and Kathleen pointed out how cities could use existing social media to determine what’s going on in their neighborhoods.

When I read articles sourced from the major “Smart City” suppliers (Siemens, Conduent, Google, IBM and the rest) the solutions are all Technology Based. Fair enough. But the wisdom shown by our three columnists in April brought me up short.

Sure, go ahead and investigate technology, but also just look at what is happening and ways to fix it now, without major outlays of funding. Governments like to throw money at a problem, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Read all about it in the April edition of PT, in your mail box in about a month.

JVH

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