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By GCN Staff

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Coalition to reinforce civic tech in mid-Atlantic region

The Chesapeake Crescent Initiative (CCI), a public-private partnership formed to support civic technology enhancement, has organized a SWAT team of sorts to help cities strengthen their technology foundations, harden their resiliency and optimize programs and services.  

The Safe + Smart Cities coalition, made up of experts from the tech, higher education and financial communities, picked the city of Newark, Del., as its first pilot. A second city from the mid-Atlantic region will be announced this fall to receive pro bono recommendations from the team.

In an announcement, the coalition said its recommendations aim to provide the cities “pragmatic and feasible options to achieve “safe and smart” objectives.

“The strategies developed as a result of this effort will allow us to maximize our limited resources in a way that best serves the citizens of Delaware,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who added the project could help “enhance our resiliency so we mitigate the damage of disaster situations before they happen.”

The Newark pilot will open with a workshop on the city’s technological maturity and vulnerabilities, the status of its infrastructure and what tools might be deployed to meet a “safe and smart” profile, according to the announcement.

That will produce a Safe + Smart City “blueprint,” or big picture report  integrating “hard and soft infrastructure functions,” including buildings, public safety and communication networks.

Herb Miller, co-founder and vice chair of CCI, said questions about how to cope with natural disasters has recently become a priority for cities, together with how to use technology to improve civic “livability” and connections to constituents.

“But these approaches are often pursued through separate channels with different stakeholders, even though they have many core commonalities,” he said.

The coalition hopes to use the lessons from its work with Newark to “as a reference model for many other municipalities and the nation as a whole,” said Stephanie Carnes, CCI’s managing director.

CCI has lined up a sizeable list of participants for the project, including Cisco, Schneider Electric, AtHoc, Verint Systems and Priority 5, which will examine the “technological maturity” of each pilot city.

Virginia Tech and the universities of Maryland and Delaware will also lend their expertise in the areas of resilience and risk mitigation, according to the announcement.

Posted by GCN Staff on Sep 30, 2014 at 10:26 AM


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