How can Oakland and other mid-size American cities afford to make significant investments in smart city technologies? How can they do this in a sustainable way when those very investments threaten to undermine important sources of revenue such as gas taxes, parking citations and parking meter fees?
Over the past week, it has become increasingly apparent that Oakland’s response to the US Dept. of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge grant for $50 million will not only respond to a set of transportation problems with a suite of smart technology solutions, but also and perhaps more importantly it will respond to a significant institutional or business model challenge by putting forward an organizational innovation that builds directly on policies and practices that have been decades in the making.
Wondering what a “Smart City” is? Have a good idea what it is, but would like to know what others are thinking and to share your ideas? If you can answer “yes” to either of these questions, then this is the Post for you! Smart Cities 101 is a primer that offers an introduction and a forum to continually develop the subject.
This letter is addressed to Stanford Professor of Public Economics Raj Chetty.
Dear Prof. Chetty,
According to the US Dept. of Transportation’s “Smart City Challenge” notice of funding opportunity, Section 6. of our Vision Narrative needs to “identify and rate key technical, policy, and institutional risks associated with the deployment vision and discuss plans for mitigating those risks.”
Oakland and other mid-size American cities need to have a better understanding of the liability and financial risks associated SCIoT. At the very least, we need to be able to respond to concerns like the ones raised in a recent SFChronicle article entitled, “Self-driving cars to drain millions from city, state coffers”.