Mayors Explore Data-Driven Sustainability Solutions


London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are interested in Smarter Cities, and are putting time and effort into learning more.

To that end, the two mayors toured the UI LABS facilities earlier this month in Chicago, where they viewed a range of pilot projects aimed at improving urban environments. The event was an opportunity for the mayors to experience new technologies with the potential to improve how infrastructure is managed and maintained.

They visited UI LABS for demonstrations of pilot projects run by City Digital, a Chicago-based consortium focused on data-driven urban innovation. The event was part of Khan’s first visit to the United States as Mayor of London. Participants included Brenna Berman, CIO, City of Chicago; Steve Fifita, Executive Director, City Digital; and Caralynn Nowinski Collens, CEO, UI LABS.

Prior to the pilot demonstrations, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA) hosted a roundtable discussion at UI LABS including discussions on motivation and best practices for deploying green infrastructure in cities globally, as well as the potential role of on-going pilot projects. The discussion was moderated by Chicago's first Chief Sustainability Officer and current Senior Fellow on Global Cities with CCGA, Karen Weigert. The roundtable discussion featured representatives from City Digital's partner organizations, including the City of Chicago, Microsoft, Opti, various technology and consulting firms, and educational institutions.

As these major cities invest in ever-more Smart City solutions, looking for better efficiencies and citizen services, it’s important that the city leaders learn all that they can about the way to make these systems of things work better while maintaining security and citizen privacy.

We hope more mayors and city leaders look into these Smart City solutions and keep studying and launching testbeds. And it’s great to see that the smart city initiatives begun under former mayor Boris Johnson seem to remain a priority for the new administration. 

Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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