Amol Naik, a Director on MailChimp’s Legal team, writes about a panel he attended where Nathaniel Smith, founder and CEO of Solutions Project Grantee Partnership for Southern Equity spoke out in support of equity and justice. Smith changed Naik’s perspective on social equity, making the point that “communities of concern are also positioned to benefit from the smart cities revolution.”

 

I recently had the pleasure of accompanying the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) on its annual LINK trip in my capacity as the ARC’s citizen board member for the City of Atlanta. The purpose of the trip is for more than 100 government, business and non-profit sector leaders to visit other cities to learn from their successes and failures in addressing issues ranging from transit to affordable housing. This year’s trip was to sunny San Diego, and I found a panel about smart cities and the impact of technology on government to be particularly instructive.

As is the norm for discussions amongst technology professionals in government, the San Diego regional leaders showed passion for the potential of technology and open data to transform how cities work. Indeed, it is undeniable that the connectivity enabled by these technologies can ease traffic congestion, reduce energy consumption and greatly improve the delivery of critical services like public safety.

 

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