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Sharing data is key to smart city development

Honing one of the points he made last week during his final pitch to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Austin Mayor Steve Adler kicked off the Smart Cities Innovation Summit by stressing the importance of creating and sharing open, standardized data as the smart city adoption trend continues to gain steam.

Austin is one of seven finalist cities competing for a $40 million federal grant made possible with the Smart City Challenge, which focuses on smart transportation and mobility solutions. Adler was in Washington D.C. last week to address government officials.

As the three-day event opened in downtown Austin, Adler reprised some of the themes from his trip to D.C.

“It’s about open data,” he said. “The underlying data itself shouldn’t be owned. We need partners in the private sector that treat smart city functionality in a standardized way so data is collected in the same kind of way…reported in similar kinds of ways so wherever you are in the world you can handle and easily manipulate that data.”

That dovetails nicely with comments from Sokwoo Rhee, associate director of cyber-physical systems at National Institute of Standards and Technology.

He told attendees: “We believe a smart city market and solutions is extremely fragmented and there’s a lack of economies of scale. What we are trying to do is…create a replicable and scalable and sustainable model…with measurable benefits that can be demonstrated.”



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