Why New York is the smartest city in the world
What makes New York the smartest city in the world?
New York City has been implementing innovative approaches across all its 5 boroughs to build a more equitable, responsive and smart city. The city has been ranked as the smartest city in the world in the “IESE Cities in Motion Index 2016”. The following study provides an outline of the various initiatives New York City is delivering as part of its smart city plan.
Midtown in Motion
Advanced solid-state traffic controllers and real time information are helping its department of transportation to control traffic in a smart way, through an initiative called “Midtown in Motion”. Since the implementation of sensors, cameras, and EZ-Pass Readers the department of transportation have achieved over 10% improvement in travel times within the city.
The Department of I.T and Telecommunications are installing more than 7,500 high-tech public communications structures, which will provide ultra-high speed free Wi-Fi. The initiative is called LinkNYC and it will provide free domestic phone calls, as well as free cell phone charging stations.
Community Air Survey
Approximately 100 air pollutant monitors have been installed in New York as part of the “Community Air Survey” initiative. The Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and Queens College are studying how pollutants from the built environment and traffic are impacting air quality.
Women Entrepreneurs NYC
The Department of Small Business services have launched the “Women Entrepreneurs NYC” initiative, aiming to connect 5,000 women to free training and business services. The objective is to expand women entrepreneurship, with a special focus on underserved women and communities.
Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency program
In order to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs, The Department of Citywide Administrative Services have launched the “Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency program”. This smart initiative looks at installing Vacancy Sensors across 90 schools, saving 3,000 metric tons of CO2 as well as over $2 million per year.
Operational Excellence Program
The Department of Environmental Protection initiated the “Operational Excellence Program”, which is a public-private partnership to address procurement, technology, workforce, materials and revenue strategies for achieving substantial budget savings.
IdeaScale Pilot Project
To create better communications between residents and the police department regarding quality of life issues, the “IdeaScale Pilot Project” was initiated in the 109th Precinct. The objective is to allow residents from different communities to communicate their concerns directly with the precinct commander.
Short Cycle Evaluation Challenge
The “Short Cycle Evaluation Challenge”, an initiative by the Department of Education, aims to make the evaluation cycle of technology tools used in education more efficient.
Vision Zero View
The Department of Transportation launched the “Vision Zero View” initiative which allows residents to assess the city’s progress on its Vision Zero goal [eliminating deaths and serious injury from traffic crashes].
Child Care Connect
“Child Care Connect” is an initiative by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene which allows parents to review and compare the quality of each day care centre.
In order to cut greenhouse gas emissions and save money, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services launched the “Print Smart” initiative. The objective is to reduce the number of printing devices which has so far resulted in a 71% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions associated with printing as well as savings of $1.7 million.
The NYC Housing Authority launched “The MyNYCHA” mobile application to allow public housing residents to manage their housing services via their smartphone and tablets.
It is clear that the successes of New York’s smart city initiatives are as a result of the commitment, coordination and partnerships between various departments as well as private and public entities. Its “people-centred” approach to creating a smart city is another key reason for its success.
Dubai is learning from NYC’s “collective collaboration” and “people-centred” approach. In 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the launch of the Dubai Smart City project. The key objective of this initiative is to transform Dubai into one of the world’s smartest city. You can learn more about how Dubai is becoming a smart city here: [How Dubai is becoming a smart city]
About the author
Baharash Bagherian is a Designer working holistically at all scales, designing for a higher quality of life whilst also protecting the environment. He believes that great Architecture is more than buildings: “It’s about creating resilient destinations that make people feel healthy to live in, inspired to work in and want to visit.”
In his work, each project is driven by a process of investigation and experimentation. The outcomes of these studies form the basis of the design. He strives to develop innovative and creative solutions that make a positive contribution to our current and future generations.
His award-winning design studio, Baharash Architecture, have worked on projects in various scales, from urban scale; such as master plans, landscape design and buildings, to smaller scale; such as interiors, furniture and products. Recent projects include the Oasis Eco Resort in Liwa and phase 2 of Dubai Sustainable City.