Urenio Watch Watch: Innovative Cities & Regions

Smart Cities Connect Conference moving to Kansas City

The Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo, whose second iteration was concluded yesterday, June 28, in Austin, Texas, will relocate next year to Kansas City, Missouri, which has launched its own transformation into a Smart City four years ago and aims to become the smartest city in the US.

The Smart Cities Connect Conference, which started as an extension of the Smart Cities Innovation Challenge that has been embedded in other TechConnect events, has been held in Austin for its first two years, but it was always intended to rotate among technologically progressive cities. According to Mathew Laudon, CEO of TechConnect, periodically changing venues helps showcase bleeding-edge municipal-level technology and solutions. Host cities need to be able to present good practices and good solutions to the visitors. Visitors of the conference in Austin were able to see how city has applied solutions and creativity to its challenges.

Next year’ s conference, in Kansas City, will provide similar insight to participants. Kansas City has launched its own smart city initiative four years ago. So far it has forged a pioneering relationship with Google Fiber and created a smart city zone downtown, centered on a 2.2-mile line of Smart Streetcars, WiFi access points and information kiosks providing real-time data on information such as pedestrian hotspots, the exact location of Streetcars at any time, traffic and available parking spots. The city has also developed the Crossroads Arts District, an impportant nexus for startups.

Chelsea Collier, editor-at-large for Smart Cities Connect, said that bringing the event to Kansas City will likely engage local start-ups that may not have been able to travel to Austin. “Going to a different city, it exposes everyone to a new way that a city works. There’ s all sorts of people that will attend and will gain exposure and people will have exposure to them,’ Collier said.

A past Urenio Watch update on Austin’ s progress with Smart City solutions can be found here.

The latest Urenio Watch update on Kansas City can be found here.

The original article can be found on govtech.com