Day 1 of the Smart Cities Symposium is over. It was a bizarre feeling to be sitting in a conference with people from all over the world who believe in global warming, climate change and the need to develop cities in which technology is designed to make human endeavors more comfortable for humans while protecting the planet while almost simultaneously Trump is signing orders to reinstate the Dakota pipeline and the Keystone. It’s like living in the twilight zone. It became uber weird when I logged into Twitter to comment on the conference and noticed the link to the Washington Post article about Trump ordering a blackout of the EPA. What must the civilized world think of us?
I do have to put that aside and comment on the symposium. If day two is like day one, it will be worth it. Topics ranged from smart building technology to smart city technology and in the case of Illinois, smart state plans. Of course the day was heavy with technology, big data and managing both. Slick presentations showed computer systems that map cities from stem to stern and underground as well. We were treated to a live feed of a system from which the street lights in Copenhagen can be made brighter or dimmer, garbage cans tell the system if they are full or not and parking is not hit or miss. Live feed shows if cars are parked, parking or leaving. It was pretty neat stuff.
Hopefully upon completion of underground mapping of Chicago the department of streets and sanitation will not be taking up the street and digging holes one week only to come back two weeks later and dig them up again. Developers and builders won’t plow into a sewer line or chop the cable for your internet into pieces. If all goes well and utilities share data as planned, underground Chicago will light up on computer screens like the system in Copenhagen.
Speaking of Copenhagen we Americans need to take a few cues from them. In fact, I’ll vote for them invading and taking over this country lock, stock and all. They actually planned the city to be sustainable and actually asked the citizens what they wanted. How novel is that? Bike lanes are everywhere and they even built bridges to create better bike traffic flow.
And while I’m learning all of this Trump is ordering resources to build a border wall. God help us.