The “New” New YorkJuly 14, 2017
How New York Is Evolving Into a World-Class Smart City
Simon Sylvester-Chaudhuri is a Managing Partner at Global Fortunes Group, spearheading various products and programs that drive urban innovation. As an advocate for technological innovation around the world, Simon is passionate about smart city development on a global scale and has worked with multiple world-class cities throughout Europe and the Middle East. We recently had the opportunity to interview Simon to discuss the current state of New York as a smart city as well as the policies that are driving the technological advancements that will define the “new” New York.
Coming to America
While the concept of smart cities has been in practice throughout Europe for nearly a decade, this trend has only taken hold in the United States over the past two to three years across a limited number of major metro areas, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. In New York, the conversion into a technologically advanced smart city is predominantly driven by government programs and citizen engagement.
“One of the key drivers of innovation that I’ve experienced in New York is the willingness of policy-makers, privately-held enterprises and general citizens to work together to create a smarter and more advanced city,” shared Simon. “We’re not only focusing on the technology aspect, but also creating new ways to engage citizens and organizations with innovation labs and government programs. These provide an element of inclusiveness that is unique to New York, enabling intelligent discussion and action.”
As a testament to that commitment, the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation (MOTI) has laid the groundwork for continued innovation by providing the necessary resources for a variety of projects, including the conversion of the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard into a model of modern, urban technological development. This industrial park also serves as home to the New Lab, one of the world’s leading technology hubs.
“In the push toward technological innovation, major universities such as Cornell, Columbia, NYU and CUNY are also getting involved in a big way,” Simon added. “Universities throughout this region are driving multiple initiatives to collect data that will help develop programs for enhanced urban and scientific progress as well as sustainability. One such program is the Urban Future Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, which hosts several programs focused on education, policy and market solutions to solve the challenge of sustainability in smart cities.”
The Essential Role of IoT and Data Centers in Smart City Development
While New York continues to evolve into a world-class smart city, IoT technology will become increasingly complex as we attempt to integrate mobile devices, buildings and general infrastructure in a way that will benefit citizens, businesses and government agencies alike.
As Simon explained, “IoT plays a major role in the establishment of New York as a smart city, from the mobile devices carried by everyday citizens to the development of autonomous vehicles and their digital interaction with various city infrastructure.”
In order to facilitate this evolution, data centers, and the cloud technologies they house, will also become increasingly essential.
“It’s in the cloud that organizations battle to gain ownership of smart cities and the technologies that enable them,” said Simon. “In addition, with the mass growth of urbanization, there will be a major influx of data that must be analyzed. Data centers will be critical to helping stakeholders better understand the needs of the city and its citizens, allowing them to proactively address potential challenges and create more opportunities for innovation.”
The Future of New York as a Smart City
New York’s political and economic climate as well as its progressive technology ecosystem have allowed it to grow into one of the most advanced cities in the world. And this is only the beginning.
As Simon shared, “New York’s progressive policies, unparalleled diversity, appetite for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit make it an attractive gateway for new technologies from across the globe. I have worked all over the world, and in no place have I seen people as hungry as they are here. New York is truly unique and serves as a prime location for smart city innovation and development.”