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  • Bobbi Harris

Smart Cities 3.0

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual meeting is Washington, DC last month, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson introduced the concept of “Cities 3.0”, which means that cities must function and be governed in a more innovative, efficient and effective way. This sounds a lot like the Smart Cities concept that energy and cleantech industry leaders are driving toward.  Let’s take a closer look at what Mayor Johnson and many top municipal leaders are striving for.


First some background. “Cities 1.0,” were built around ports, rivers, rail and transportation routes. They served as centers of commerce and trade for our new nation. The second generation of American cities, or “Cities 2.0,” arose later during the Industrial Revolution. These cities were marked by factories, smoke stacks, automobiles and yes, electricity! Now “Cities 3.0,” have become the leading hubs of green infrastructure, sustainable building, wireless innovation, entrepreneurship and clean technology of all kinds. These cities are the epicenters of environmental sustainability and economic growth.


Today, Smart Cities are pushing to be paperless, wireless and cashless. In these cities there are “more cell phones than landlines, more tablets than desktops, more smart devices than toothbrushes,” and according to Mayor Johnson, “this truly represents a new era of the American city.”


Smart City Mayors also believe in the practice of “open source leadership.” Meaning they are looking for the best solutions from any source and expect the private sector to help solve public challenges. These mayors are proactive, pragmatic problem solvers. They see this new era as an opportunity to raise the quality of life for all of their residents through smarter communications, smarter services, and sustainable planning.


A leading city must be the definitive real-time service provider. Why? Because their residents operate in a new standard of living: their music does not come from a record store (iTunes), their booksellers have no bookstores (Amazon), and their taxi company owns no cars (Uber). Now cities must learn to provide services is new ways too. Enter the Smart Cities Community…


Industry, academia and government leaders must unite and become pragmatic problem-solvers together. These leaders will drive Cities 3.0 if they look for common sense solutions regardless of where they come from. Their focus, according to Mayor Johnson, must be on meaningful and measurable results, so that “the promise of our cities becomes the reality of our cities.”


For more information on Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the 83rd Annual Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors, visit:http://usmayors.org/83rdWinterMeeting/

Also Published On Energy Central: http://www.smartcities.energycentral.com/cities-3-0/

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