The New York City CTO team recently reached out to me for some feedback on the new NYC IoT Strategy, which of course I gladly contributed. And I’m happy to share that the strategy is now publicly available:
While I always wished that some of these areas of tech deployment — especially the infrastructure level — were more thoroughly embedded in the public sector (rather than the market), I do believe that this is an ambitious strategy that cities around the world can and should learn from.
It’s built around six key principles:
- Governance and Coordination
- Privacy and Transparency
- Security and Safety
- Fairness and Equity
- Efficiency and Sustainability
- Openness and Public Engagement
I like those! These are good principles, because they direct the attention to a productive, societal framing. Even if they need to get filled with life, so to speak, they provide a framing that isn’t centered on profit-creation or cost-savings or efficiency, but on fairness and equity, sustainability and public engagement. It is, in many way, the antithesis to what I’ve seen peddled elsewhere over the last decade. In this strategy, you can tell why they are a core member of Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. (While this isn’t a smart city strategy per se, it comes from the same team that deals with smart city issues, and overlaps with smart cities significantly.) And I’m all for it.
The authors also kindly included the ThingsCon Trustable Technology Mark I developed as a mini case study, and a little blurb from me for their press release:
“In a world increasingly shaped by technology and algorithms, NYC‘s IoT Strategy offers crucial, actionable guidance for cities around the world, and an approach to IoT & smart city projects that puts residents first,” said Peter Bihr, Co-Founder of ThingsCon and the Berlin Institute for Smart Cities and Civil Rights. “With this pioneering work, NYC leads by example and helps elevate the whole field for citizens, administrations and the overall IoT ecosystem.”
Oh and by the way, last summer I interviewed NYC CTO John Paul Farmer as part of a video series produced with Körber Stiftung. The team around John continues to deliver impressive results.