Carnegie Mellon University

photo showing connected city

Driving Investments in Physical and Digital Infrastructure

Metro21 was featured in a Government Technology article highlighting the CES 2020 topic of smart city solutions to aging infrastructure.

In 2017, the U.S. received a D+ on its infrastructure report card given by the American Society of Civil Engineers. This topic was brought up at smart cities panel at CES that featured Metro21 Executive Director, Karen Lightman.

The panelists generally agreed that these problems could be tackled through smart initiatives pushed by public-private partnerships. At the same time, they agreed that horizontal collaboration between city agencies will also be a winning strategy for adoption. 

Lightman said that a good case study for a community in need of smart solutions for infrastructure is the city where she lives, Pittsburgh, which is also a community that lost nearly half its population over a period of several decades and suffered from bankruptcy for years. Lightman said that while the city is now growing both its population and tax base, there is a real need for investment in physical and digital infrastructures.  

Tax structures to drive revenue for these projects have to be considered carefully, said Lightman, cautioning that the payment method put forward has to have citizens in mind.

In the end, the panelists echoed the point that a smart city is not just about the destinations, but instead about the journey of decades and decades of investment towards building a brighter future for its citizens.

To view the original article, click here.