Smart Cities/Digi.City

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The Smart City movement is an effort to help cities discover creative, technology-driven solutions to the challenges of today. Digi.City is a program created by Chelsea Collier to help promote municipalities to become Smart Cities. Collier will talk about Smart Cities and her organization.

TED SIMONS: THE SMART CITY MOVEMENT IS AN EFFORT TO HELP CITIES DISCOVER CREATIVE, TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN SOLUTIONS TO A VARIETY OF CIVIC ISSUES. DIGI-CITY IS A PROGRAM THAT HELPS MUNICIPALITIES "BECOME" SMART CITIES. WE RECENTLY SPOKE WITH DIGI-CITY FOUNDER, CHELSEA COLLIER.
TED SIMONS: THANKS FOR JOINING US ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."
CHELSEA COLLIER: THANK YOU. IT'S SUCH A PLEASURE TO BE HERE. I APPRECIATE IT.
TED SIMONS: THANK YOU. WHAT IS DIGI CITY?
CHELSEA COLLIER: IT'S A BLOG I STARTED. THIS YEAR IN JANUARY, I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO RECEIVE AN EISENHOWER FELLOWSHIP. AS PART OF IT, I CHOSE TO STUDY SMART CITIES WHICH TO ME IS A UMBRELLA ISSUE THAT BRINGS TOGETHER TECHNOLOGY, POLICY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL IMPACT. IT'S ABOUT HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN ENGAGE THE CITIZENS IN EVERY CITY AROUND THE WORLD TO MAKE IT EFFECTIVE.
TED SIMONS: CAN WE NARROW IN ON SMART CITY POLICIES?
CHELSEA COLLIER: IT'S BEING DEFINED. THE TERM SMART CITY HAS BEEN ADOPTED WORLDWIDE. IN THE U.S., SMART CITIES HAVE TAKEN SHAPE IN THE LAST TWO YEARS. IN 2016, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL ISSUED A SMART CITY CHALLENGE GRANT. WITH THAT GRANT, 78 CITIES PARTICIPATED IN THE CHALLENGE GRANT AND STARTED UNDERSTANDING HOW SMART CITY POLICY CAN SHAPE THEIR CITIES AND INTRODUCE TECHNOLOGY TO ENGAGE THEIR CITIZENS.
TED SIMONS: ARE THE POLICIES IN PLACE IN SOME AREAS OPPOSED TO OTHERS? IS IT A MET MORE FIES OUT THERE? HOW IS IT WORKING?
CHELSEA COLLIER: IT'S BEING DEFINED RIGHT NOW WHICH I THINK IS INCREDIBLY EXCITING. ONE OF THE REASONS I'M IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA, THE ENVIRONMENT HERE IS POISED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERYTHING SMART CITIES CAN BE.
TED SIMONS: WHY IS THAT?
CHELSEA COLLIER: YOU HAVE GOVERNOR DUCEY SETTING A BITNESS LEVEL, NOT ABOUT REGULATION BUT INNOVATION, AND YOU PARTNER THAT ON THE LOCAL LEVEL, ENTREPRENEURS, ELECTED OFFICIALS, STAFF, UNIVERSITIES, AND EVERYONE IS COMMITTED TO CREATING A FUTURE-READY CITY, THOSE TWO THINGS TOGETHER, IT'S LIKE THE PERFECT FORMULA FOR SMART CITY.
TED SIMONS: WE TALK FUTURE READY, A BIGGIE IS 5G. WHAT IS 5G?
CHELSEA COLLIER: IT'S THE NEXT GENERATION OF WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURE. TODAY WE ENJOY 4G. WE ARE A LITTLE SPOILED IN THE U.S. SMART CITIES IS ABOUT CONNECTED TECHNOLOGY. IF YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS, REFRIGERATORS WILL TALK TO CENTRAL COMMAND CENTERS. YOU TAKE THAT OUT OF THE HOME AND INTO THE CITY LEVEL, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED AND ALMOST WORKING LIKE MAGIC THROUGH CENSORS AND BIG DATA AND CONNECTED TECHNOLOGIES. 5G NEEDS TO BE IN PLACE TO ENABLE THAT.
TED SIMONS: IS IT STARTING TO BE IN PLACE IN SPOTS?
CHELSEA COLLIER: IT'S BUILDING. WHAT'S IMPORTANT IN CITIES AND HAPPENING BEAUTIFULLY HERE, IT'S TIME TO PUT THE POLICIES IN PLACE TO ENABLE THE NEXT GENERATION TECHNOLOGY SO WHEN IT'S READY TO BE DEPLOYED, THE POLICIES ARE IN PLACE TO SUPPORT THE INFRASTRUCTURE.
TED SIMONS: THE POLICIES ARE?
CHELSEA COLLIER: CLEARING THE PATHWAY SO EVERY CITY HAS A DIFFERENT SET OF REGULATION, A DIFFERENT SET OF POLICIES. THEY ARE RIGHT OF WAY WHEN YOU ARE BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE, POLICIES WELL INTENTIONED TEN YEARS AGO COULDN'T ANTICIPATE THE TECHNOLOGY OF TODAY. THERE IS A FREE FORM TO CREATE.
TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS ZONING AND PERMITTING AND RIGHT OF WAY AND THESE SORT OF THINGS, HOW DOES 5G NEXT GENERATION DIFFER FROM WHAT WAS IN PLACE BEFORE. I THINK WE ALL REMEMBER WHEN CABLE CAME THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOODS, THINGS WERE UP ENDED. SOME OKAY, SOME NOT. IS 5G A DIFFERENT BEAST ALTOGETHER?
CHELSEA COLLIER: EVERY CITY IS DIFFERENT AND HOW EVERY CITY APPROACHES IT IS DIFFERENT. IT'S A NEW BUILD. THERE ARE NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO ENHANCE THE INFRASTRUCTURE. IT'S ABOUT MAKING SURE POLICIES ARE NOT IN THE WAY, OLD STATUTES ARE CREATING HINDRANCES. IT'S NOT LIKE YOU SAY LET'S BUILD 5G AND TOMORROW IT HAPPENS. THERE IS A PROCESS.

TED SIMONS: TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS. I KNOW AS FAR AS CELL TOWERS, THE AESTHETICS OF CELL TOWERS HAS BEEN A BIG FACTOR. WITH 5G, DOES THAT CHANGE? ARE THERE FEWER OUT THERE? WHAT IS THE DYNAMIC?
CHELSEA COLLIER: THERE ARE DIFFERENT STEPS TO THIS. 4G TODAY IS BOLSTERED BY SMALL CELLS. WHERE THEY USED TO BE TALL TOWERS, NOW THAT TECHNOLOGY SHRINKS. EVERYONE IS INTERESTED IN MAKING THE CITIES AESTHETICLY PLEASING AS POSSIBLE. MOST OF 5G IS FIBER UNDERGROUND.
TED SIMONS: AS WE MOVE FORWARD WE LOOK FOR UNDERGROUND MORE THAN OVER GROUND.
CHELSEA COLLIER: SURE. IT'S A CONCEPT. YOU INTRODUCE WI-FI. THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF TECHNOLOGIES TO BE COMBINED AND INNOVATIVE CITIES ARE LOOKING AT WHAT WORKS FOR THEM AND MAKING SURE POLICIES ARE IN PLACE TO SUPPORT THAT.
TED SIMONS: I WOULD GUESS EVERY INDIVIDUAL CITY HAS A INDIVIDUAL NEED AND POLICY AS OPPOSED TO SOMETHING BLANKET. IS THAT WHERE YOUR GROUP COMES FROM?
CHELSEA COLLIER: ABSOLUTELY. DIGI CITY IS FOCUSED ON THE PROLIFERATION CITIES AROUND THE U.S. HOW DO WE COMPARE AROUND THE WORLD? WHAT ARE THE BEST PRACTICES? WHAT ARE THE LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM OTHER COMMUNITIES AND COUNTRIES? MY EISENHOWER SCHOLARSHIP FOCUSED ON THE U.S. AND CHINA. IT'S BEEN INTERESTING TO SEE HOW OUR SYSTEMS AND REGULATORY ISSUES ARE HERE IN THE U.S. AND HOW WE CAN ENGAGE THOUGHTFULLY THIS THAT CONVERSATION.
TED SIMONS: LAST QUESTION REAL QUICKLY, IF THERE WAS A CITY TO LOOK AT RIGHT NOW, SMARTEST OF THE SMART CITIES, WHO IS DOING IT RIGHT AND FASTEST?
CHELSEA COLLIER: IT'S DIFFERENT FOR EVERY CITY BUT MY BET'S ON PHOENIX.
TED SIMONS: ALL RIGHT. WE HAVE TO LOOK THAT UP. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.
CHELSEA COLLIER: THANK YOU SO MUCH. APPRECIATE IT.

Chelsea Collier: Digi.City program creator

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