San Jose Approve of Smart City Vision aimed at using Tech to Better Life for Residents

Thinking Cities
By Thinking Cities April 20, 2016 15:33 Updated

San Jose Approve of Smart City Vision aimed at using Tech to Better Life for Residents

Smart City Vision for San Jose that was approved Tuesday provides a framework aimed at making the city become the most innovative nationwide by 2020.

In a unanimous vote, the City Council passed the vision that will help guide the city with basic values and desired outcomes in using technology to help serve its residents, Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

The vision comes as the city has stabilized itself after eight years of “fiscal tightening” and is rebuilding services by looking into new ways of working, said Shireen Santosham, the mayor’s chief innovation officer.

“Few cities in the world have actually accomplished this sort of unified digital strategy for the city,” Santosham said.

Residents have also grown accustomed to on-demand services including ride-booking services such as Uber and expect the same from city government, she said.

The city’s population is expected to grow 40 percent by 2040 and the vision provides an opportunity to bring together many projects already underway, according to Santosham.

The vision can help make the city safe by using technology to target hot spot areas and use that information to reduce traffic accidents, she said.

The city can become sustainable by improving its management over water and energy, such as using sensors to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Santosham.

Along the way the vision calls on the city to be transparent, inclusive by making sure all residents have access to digital services, protective of an individual’s privacy and make sure the technology is easy to use, Santosham said.

“We’re looking for transformative technology that will really shape the way we live and work in the future,” she said.

Partnerships with universities, the private sector and other organizations will help bring the projects to fruition, Santosham said.

City staff will start developing the plan next month and begin implementation in September, according to Santosham.

The council also approved forming a Smart City and Continuous Improvement Council Committee to help give feedback on the vision and work plans.

“It’s time we call ourselves rightfully the capital of Silicon Valley,” City Councilman Johnny Khamis said in support of the vision.

Thinking Cities
By Thinking Cities April 20, 2016 15:33 Updated