The City of St. Louis is joining the federal Smart Cities Initiative, an effort that encourages cities across the country to use technology to modernize the way the City tackles everyday problems and improve the quality of life for all of its residents.
The Smart City efforts in St. Louis will focus on achieving four main goals: improving public safety, making City services more efficient, equitable delivery of City services, and expanding internet access for every St. Louisan.
Smart City technology has been used in other cities to increase government transparency, predict crime before it happens and reduce costs while improving the quality of services like trash pick up.
In St. Louis’ Smart City initiative, Mayor Lyda Krewson said bridging what’s known as the “digital divide” will be a critical component.
“In today’s digital world, it is imperative that all of our citizens have access to affordable, reliable internet access and the necessary training to effectively utilize the web,” Krewson said. “It is my belief that digital access should be a public good, one that is not conditional on a person’s income, race or zip code.”
In launching this effort, St. Louis will begin a search to hire a Chief Technology Officer and establish a Smart City Commission and a series of advisory groups made up of residents and stakeholders. The Chief Technology Officer will be responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the Smart City Platform and will provide expert advice and technical support. The task force will develop a strategic plan that will guide the City’s efforts.
“Every St. Louisan deserves the best from their government and should expect their leaders to look for new ways to tackle our most pressing issues,” Krewson said. “The Smart Cities Initiative gives us the opportunity to modernize our government and rethink how we deliver city services through increased data sharing and collaboration among city agencies and community leaders. Developing this platform increases our government’s ability to improve access to city services for every resident.”
In the interest of best serving the needs of residents, the City will not entertain any proposals from vendors until such a time that the Chief Technology Officer is hired.
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