Carnegie Mellon University

photo of panelists

Metro21 Provides Thought Leadership at CES 2020

Karen Lightman, Metro21 Executive Director, shared her insights on smart city planning on a panel at CES 2020. During her discussion, Lightman referenced many Metro21 projects and partnership with municipalities. City officials face the challenges of aging infrastructure and are tasked with identifying innovative ways to fix their crumbling streets, sewers and subways. Lightman’s shared her insights alongside other thought leaders in the smart cities sector in a discussion titled "Blending New Tech and Aging Infrastructure in Smart Cities.”

Reflecting on the panel, Lightman enjoyed to learn that her fellow panelists were drawing the same conclusions from their work as she has drawn from Metro21. The panel had concensus on the importance of decarbonization and its role in future and current infrastructure. The panel also agreed on the idea of monetizing the street/curb and looking for more creative data-based ways of investing in infrastructure (beyond gas tax and tolls).

Lightman brought up the issue of citizen engagement and equity and having those these need to be threads that run throughout any infrastructure project. As the panel discussed 5G, it’s potential, the hype and that governments must ensure that any broadband /digital infrastructure is invested in an equitable manner, partnerships among the panelists started to form. An example of this was when Christopher Clark, the Mayor of Harvey, Illinois said "all this futuristic smart city stuff is great – but I am just trying to get wifi in my community so kids can do their homework" and then after the panel Suzanne Murtha, Vice President Connected and Automated Technologies (AECOM), said she’d work to help him

 At CES, Smart Cities represents the entire connected ecosystem that brings together the technologies, solutions, players and audiences in the smart city sector, including IoT, 5G connectivity, transportation and smart automotive, energy and utilities, health and public safety, artificial intelligence, and data analytics.

To learn more about Metro21's discussion at CES, click here.