CTG’s Smart Cities Work Recognized by White House

Sept. 27, 2016

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced that guidebooks written by the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) are some of the most important resources that small and medium sized cities across the nation should turn to as they try to innovate with new technology to make their cities “smarter.”

The White House released a Fact Sheet outlining smart-city related initiatives happening around the country, including by CTG, which they believe to be the most helpful for cities trying to become smart and better integrate technology. Governments around the world are striving to incorporate technology and the “Internet of Things” into their everyday operations, ranging from streetlights that automatically dim in response to a lack of movement, to sensors that monitor water mains for leaks, to parking lots connected to mobile phones that alert you about where public parking is available, and seemingly anything and everything in between. Megacities, such as New York City, are trailblazing this movement and successfully incorporating new technology seemingly daily, while smaller to medium sized cities face a different set of challenges.

In response to the increasing need from smaller to medium sized cities, CTG is leveraging its more than 20 years of work with city governments to create action oriented playbooks, supported by the White House. They include:

Rightsizing Smarter: One Size Does Not Fit All: An Action Guide for Small to Medium Sized City and Municipal Governments: This guide will help cities better understand the landscape, terminology, and core concepts of a smarter city. The variety of contexts and realities found in small to medium sized cities require new and different approaches for achieving their goals. This guide will set forth a set of curated actions that cities can use guide their pursuit of a smarter city agenda.

Data Stewardship in the Age of IoT: It’s More Than Just a Sensor: The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is all around us. Small to medium sized cities are taking notice and looking for ways to leverage the potential of the IoT, but in order to fully realize the benefits, cities must also be aware of and create capability to manage the realities and risks. In particular, they must understand data stewardship and data ownership, and be aware of the new kinds of vulnerabilities introduced through the use of sensors. This guide will outline a set of critical questions that local governments must ask themselves as they consider the adoption of the IoT and outline a set of capabilities required.

CyberSecurity Essentials for Small to Medium Sized Cities: Most megacities have large dedicated teams to manage their day-to-day cyber presence and lead their overall security strategy. In small to medium sized cities, this is rarely the case. Responsibilities for cyber protection and risk mitigation often rely on a very small number and loosely coordinated group of staff, consultants, and sometimes even elected officials. The threat to these cities is just as real as it is to the megacities, and if breached can have a ripple effect on partners of all kinds, large and small and across the sectors. This guide will present essential elements of cybersecurity for government leaders of small to medium sized cities who may not have the expertise in-house, but who still need to be proactive in their efforts.

This announcement is another example of CTG’s reach in providing leadership for cities leveraging public sector innovation. CTG’s is part of two major smart cities networks, including the Metrolab Network and the US Ignite Global Cities Team Challenge. These initiatives, coupled with CTG’s role in leading the International Smart Cities Smart Government Research Practice Consortium and requests for presentations at renowned Smart Cities Conferences in Washington DC, Barcelona, Vienna, Chicago, and others, shows CTG’s centrality in the global effort to promote smarter cities.