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Smart Cities: Regional Collaboration Synergizes Benefits

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Integrating smart cities efforts across geographic boundaries helps democratize expertise and skillsets needed to get the most impactful results.

We’ve known for several years that smart buildings and smart cities, rather than being entities unto themselves, are collections of tightly integrated smart applications and services. These aggregate systems, in turn, are often further integrated with other smart systems and applications run by municipalities, agencies, and commercial enterprises. The North Texas Innovation Alliance (NTXIA) takes that philosophy a step further in what could be called smart regions.

In particular, the NTXIA offers a regionally-focused strategy that it hopes will serve as a national model and ultimately help create standards and policy-driven initiatives that serve the needs of all citizens across North Texas and put power into the hands of the municipalities that serve them. 

It notes that there is a timely opportunity to make the region (North Texas) a leader in implementing integrated smart cities efforts that cross geographic boundaries. Such an approach is needed because “no single entity, whether a company, community, or academic institution, possesses all the expertise and skillsets needed for sound growth initiatives.”

A best-minds approach to the consortium makes subject matter expertise amongst partners available on collective and individual initiatives. By establishing a regional consortium, the NTXIA will work to identify and collaboratively address barriers that inhibit smart city implementations and success.

NTXIA’s mission is to create the most smart, resilient, and connected region in the country. The alliance uses technology, data, and the communities to help local governments develop city services and address their challenges in efforts to provide new solutions that improve the local economy and residents’ everyday lives.

This regional concept is being applied in other areas involving different technologies. For example, an upcoming Digital Twin Consortium webinar will discuss how Electric Places and Slingshot Simulations developed a digital twin of a four-hundred square mile UK regional local authority to integrate, link, and contextualize the siloed data relevant to high-impact net zero interventions. 

Smart cities applications abound in the region

An important factor that makes the NTXIA effort so impactful is that the region is a hotbed of smart city activity already. There are numerous public projects, including applications that cover everything from automated airport parking to a predictive data modeling effort by the Dallas Police Department to reduce violent crime.

 Most recently, Peachtree Corners – one of the United States’ first 5G smart cities powered by real-world connected infrastructure – announced a partnership with the NTXIA. The cross-regional partnership extends both Peachtree Corners’ and NTXIA’s efforts in supporting the expansion of smart cities through public-private partnerships.

“We are continuing to foster these partnerships as a way to support smart city growth and economic development,” said Jennifer Sanders, NTXIA Co-Founder and Executive Director. “Both of us share the collaborative spirit and the drive to help all municipalities reach their goals more quickly, together. We are looking forward to collaborating to further our efforts, share knowledge, and support municipalities across our region and the country.”

Salvatore Salamone

About Salvatore Salamone

Salvatore Salamone is a physicist by training who has been writing about science and information technology for more than 30 years. During that time, he has been a senior or executive editor at many industry-leading publications including High Technology, Network World, Byte Magazine, Data Communications, LAN Times, InternetWeek, Bio-IT World, and Lightwave, The Journal of Fiber Optics. He also is the author of three business technology books.

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