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03/02/2021
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Smart city programs stalled out under Trump

The federal government was “largely idle” in helping cities across the U.S. develop smart civic technologies under the Trump administration, according to a new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. But there is an opportunity for Congress and President Joe Biden to jumpstart a new era of research into emerging mobility, energy and artificially-intelligent civic tools, said Colin Cunliff, an author of the ITIF report. “The U.S. is already investing large amounts, billions of dollars every year in transportation infrastructure. Let’s make that smart infrastructure,” he said." Ryan Johnston reports.


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It's not the feds, but...

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Tuesday it will spend $150 million to create a new civic-tech research institute at Harvard University that will train mayors and other city officials looking to advance their technology and data-driven systems. The Bloomberg Center for Cities will produce new guidelines and strategies for mayors and city halls to use over the next several years, and offer custom programming, research initiatives and fellowships for postgraduate students, building on the City Leadership Initiative that Harvard and Bloomberg launched in 2017. Ryan has this one too.


Harris says relief bill will help cities innovate

Vice President Kamala Harris said Monday that the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package the White House is pushing will help U.S. cities innovate and invest in modern infrastructure. Speaking to an online conference held by Bloomberg CityLab, Harris said that while cities have borne the brunt of COVID-19, they also have an opportunity to greatly redevelop their infrastructure when they emerge from the health crisis. “I have spoken with mayors from across the country about this plan,” she said. “And without exception they have said our cities need this plan to survive.”   Benjamin Freed reports.


Is NYC's 'internet master plan' working out?

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio launched an "internet master plan" in January 2020, aimed at building out connectivity across the five boroughs. More than a year in, former Palo Alto, California, CIO Jonathan Reichental checks in with New York CTO John Paul Farmer to see how the plan is going. Internet service is expanding at a decent clip, Farmer said. In one initiative, the city made more than 300 public housing buildings available for use by third parties for new internet infrastructure. Read the rest of the column.


NYC-area Transit Innovation Partnership has a new leader

The director of the Partnership for New York City’s Transit Tech Lab, Natalia Quintero, has been promoted to lead innovation and emerging technology deployments for a group of regional transit agencies Quintero, who joined the tech lab in October 2018 as its first director, was announced on Monday as the new senior vice president of innovation at the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit membership organization for New York CEOs, to lead its transit partnership, a collaboration that includes the MTA and Port Authority. Ryan has details.


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