To Tackle Urban Problems, City Governments Have to Get Smarter

Harnessing the data and technology to meet the challenge of doing more with less is the biggest feat of getting a smart city plan off the ground.

Although 80 percent of Americans live in cities, urban issues are often put on the nation’s back burner. But residents still expect their city governments to deliver the day-to-day services that make or break their quality of life.

The recently concluded U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) brought together local officials from all over the country. Under the leadership of the new USCM president, Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin, they discussed three major themes: infrastructure, innovation and inclusion. Their constituents are impatient to see progress in all of these areas — and cities have to figure out how to deliver it in the face of serious fiscal constraints.

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