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MISAC Members Continue to Seek the Best Strategies for Smart City Planning

Tuesday, February 26, 2019  
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Among its four pillars, education and professional development are a top priority for MISAC. Whether participating in workshops at the MISAC Annual Conference, taking a MuniTech Academy course or sharing information via the MISAC Listserv, MISAC members are always engaged and always learning to ensure they’re well-equipped to serve their communities. As part of these efforts, several members attended the Developing the Roadmap to Your Smart Future event in November 2018.


“The Smart Future event was a great opportunity for information technology professionals to inform their strategy in regard to smart cities and regions. It’s always a great experience to learn from other government leaders and understand which strategies they are using to solve problems that may apply to your own municipality,” said Gaurav Garg, City of Santa Clara Chief Information Officer.  


The event, held at San Mateo County History Museum in Redwood City, welcomed local governments, utilities, ports and transportation agencies, among other entities to discuss the hot topic of smart cities and smart regions. As information technology professionals, MISAC members fit perfectly into the crowd and benefited tremendously from listening to the key speakers and hosts: Jon Walton, County of San Mateo Chief Information Officer, and Bill Finnerty, analyst at Gartner Research, a private research and advisory firm.


“It was quite validating to hear that geography and location area common denominator in successful smart city implementation. For that reason, geographic information systems play a key role in the City of Santa Clara’s journey to smart city success,” said Garg. “‘How do we move the needle forward?’ is a collective question on everyone’s mind in in regard to smart cities, so it is always helpful to know your current strategies have been successful in other governments.” 


During his talk, Walton discussed how counties and cities can partner to improve the quality of life of residents and workers within a region. Finnerty’s discussion focused on how cities, counties and regions can build strategic objectives to create impactful services and measure success.


Smart city planning remains a challenge and we have a long way to go; understanding and learning from each other’s strategies is getting us much closer to implementing successful smart cities,” added Garg.

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