Carnegie Mellon University

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Lending New Tech into Established Infrastructure

The challenge city officials face with aging infrastructures--think crumbling streets, sewers, and subways--and how they are using smart city solutions to repurpose those existing infrastructures was the focus of the "Blending New Tech and Aging Infrastructure in Smart Cities" CES 2020 panel discussion.

TechRepublic highlighted topic like Finding funding, pooling resources, 5G, curbside value and smart cities successes. Karen Lightman, Metro21 Executive Director, message was focused around looking at smart cities holistically.

Throughout the article, Metro21 was citied many times in reference to building  roadmap for future smart cities. Lightman discussed that transportation is a portion of the future of cities, but more importantly we need to "look holistically as a system of a system," one that includes issues of "climate change and the critical thread of citizen engagement which runs through it."

Lightman also referred to her hometown of Pittsburgh as a city who was able to transform itself. 16 years ago, Pittsburgh went bankrupt and lost half of its population. Now stable and growing its a city poised to become an ideal smart city (Lightman acknowledges that losing half the population put considerably less stress the city's infrastructure). Carnegie Mellon , she said, is looking to address issues with "the infrastructure that's been neglected for almost 20 years; there are a lot of bridges and roads crumbling, and we have 40 active landslides."

Metro21 was excited to share its insights from projects and partnerships, and Lightman concluded the talk by discussing that "the smart city of the future is real, but we have to be so thoughtful and intelligent" about how we go about it, "you need that human interaction with the government and policy." She added that creating together will "improve efficiency."

To view the TechRepublic article, follow the link: