Planning For Smart Cities

APA Technology Division


Tuesday, September 15, 2015
2 p.m. - 6 p.m. EDT

Lexington, KY, United States

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Large companies, start-up companies, entrepreneurs and college students are developing new technology applications to help planners do their job. These smart city technologies allow us to collect and crunch massive amounts of data. Crowdsourcing and open source data are making vast amounts of new information available to researchers, private companies and planners. Planners can use this data to analyze human behavior and improve quality of life through applications that do things such as reduce traffic congestion, predict crime waves and address public health issues. Sensors and automated technologies help us monitor urban infrastructure systems in real time so we can continually perfect their operations. Technologies that have been around for a while such as GIS and scenario planning as well as new technologies such as the augmented reality help us communicate and present information. The challenge with all of these technologies, however, is to move beyond the initial “gee wiz” isn’t that really cool phase, to actually incorporating the analysis and information from these applications into our decision making processes in a meaningful way. Collaboration and partnerships are going to be critical to bring in multiple perspectives. Planners have a unique perspective and they need to be part of the conversation in developing these smart city technologies. One of those perspectives, that is key to our profession is to make sure that the public is represented and engaged in the collection and use of the data. Another challenge is that underlying all of these applications, however, are the broadband networks that transmit the data and allow devices to communicate with one another. This broadband infrastructure is critical for smart cities. Hospitals, schools, tech companies, main street businesses, local governments, and households are all demanding more bandwidth that can only be delivered by next generation high speed networks. Planners must view broadband infrastructure as critical infrastructure and begin to adopt policies, procedures and regulations that facilitate deployment of broadband networks. To address these challenges, this workshop will contain three panels: Panel 1: American Planning Association (APA) – Smart City Task Force - After a year of outreach, the APA produced a white paper to review how planners, and cities, are currently using smart city technologies as well as examining smart city trends in the future. Ms. McMahon, co-chair of the APA Task Force, will present the findings and recommendations from the Task Force. Panel 2: Smart City Readiness - Communities can promote investment in broadband Infrastructure through a number of policy and administrative actions. Learn how adopting policy statements in Comprehensive Plans, TIF Districts, Downtown Revitalization Plans, Economic Development Districts and Capital Improvement Plans can lay the groundwork for creating a gigabit ready city. Hear about cities that have undertaken efforts to improve permitting and administrative processes to facilitate broadband deployment. Review tools to make your prepare your city to become a smart city. Panel 3: Broadband Planning Processes - Review the planning process and different models for broadband deployment and learn how city planners can contribute to efforts. This session will include case studies and information sharing from participants to describe the local experience with broadband planning processes.

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