• Colorado Smart Cities: From Ideas to Action

    This week Colorado Technology Association hosted the inaugural Colorado Smart Cities Symposium, presented by Arrow Electronics and in partnership with the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance.

    "What is the smart way to build a smart city?", We asked.

    At the event, more than 400 leaders from across the state in the public, private and academic sectors explored this question and the topics of Vision, Innovation, Insights, and Leadership - the building blocks of a smart city.

    Cities and communities are facing the challenges of mobility and transportation, public health, public safety, infrastructure, and limited environmental resources. These challenges our communities are facing have no physical boundaries; thus it is essential that we collaborate on finding the best solutions.

    Colorado is already leading the way in smart city development, and we heard many of these examples on stage this week …

    The City of Lone Tree has teamed with Uber to provide subsidized shuttle service as a first and last mile service for commuters from light rail and to improve mobility around the city.

    • Through an innovative new “Mobility Lab” the City of Aspen is setting up a testbed to explore new technologies to improve mobility in and around Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley.
    • The City of Greenwood Village has recently partnered with Adventos, which produces a software platform called Smart Force that allows for better public safety communications between law enforcement officers and people representing key sites within the city, including Cherry Creek High School and entertainment venues like Fiddlers Green Amphitheater.
    • Smart City development goes far beyond the reach of municipalities. The state is looking into mobility through the testing of the Colorado Hyperloop, and real estate development and healthcare campuses are ripe for opportunity to be more efficient for our citizens.

    The program also included a special announcement from Arrow Electronics executives about the Colorado Open Lab – which will bring the world’s leading technology companies to Colorado to collaborate with Colorado municipalities and the Colorado Department of Transportation to tackle the challenges of our communities of tomorrow. The program featured discussions about the growing momentum behind The Innovation Corridor, a platform designed to connect federally funded labs with private industry to foster economic development and job creation.

    I was asked this week what makes this event successful? Here’s my answer. We heard a lot of interesting conversation and were exposed to cutting-edge technologies in our Tech Showcase. Ideas were flying and there was talk of collaboration. But talk is not enough. If all of these thoughts and possibilities fall on the floor, we have not been successful. Success means that we take the big ideas at the event, pilot them and make them a reality. We must work together and collaborate as a diverse, inclusive community to solve today’s and tomorrow’s most pressing challenges.

    We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the work of the CO Smart Cities Alliance and at upcoming events such as the Downtown Denver Partnership Rocky Mountain City Summit on October 4 and the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo in March 2019 and to seeing these ideas come to life, within, and across regions. Finally, if you want to learn more about and engage with the Colorado Open Lab, email with the title "Colorado Open Lab".

    A special thanks to all of our event partners: Arrow Electronics, Comcast, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Pivot3, AvePoint, Cisco, DISH, GTRI (now Zivaro), LGS Innovation, Ubiquia, AECOM, Flexential, Pure Storage, Ruckus, Dinonoff, Scale Technology,, Xcel Energy, and City Pole.