“The discrepancy between the promise of whiz-bang technology and the reality” – ParkNews.biz June 22nd – 28th, 2021

June 28, 2021



“The discrepancy between the promise of whiz-bang technology and the reality” – ParkNews.biz June 22nd – 28th, 2021



Has Smart City concept or at least its verbiage, become passe?   This Monday, June 28th, 2021, Columbus, OH and its Smart Columbus Program is ubiquitous in the news thus our headline is, June 28, 2021 – America’s ‘Smart City’ Didn’t Get Much Smarter – the article from Wired Magazine.

“The “smart city” was a hard-to-pin-down marketing term associated with urban optimism. Today, as citizens think more carefully about tech-enabled surveillance, the concept of a sensor in every home doesn’t look as shiny as it once did. Still, Columbus officials insist the Smart City project was not a failure. In fact, the final report labeled the project a success. Now Columbus wants to rethink the slippery term.

It’s not supposed to be a competition for who has more sensors, or anything like that, and I think we got a little distracted at a certain point,” says Jordan Davis, director of Smart Columbus, the organization charged with continuing the challenge’s work. Some of the challenge’s projects will continue. Davis says the focus will be, “How do we use technology to improve quality of life, to solve community issues of equity, to mitigate climate change, to achieve prospects in the region?””

It is never all bad or all good. The middle way is waiting to be implemented by all of us. As if there is elation, it is wonderful but it never lasts. If there is sadness, that never lasts forever unless we allow it. So perhaps there are some awesome benefits of the smart city project in Columbus and yes, there are expensive downsides. There was 50 million dollars invested in the project. Did it all go to waste? What are the benefits and lessons learned?

According to another article, June 28, 2021 – All the tech that went into turning Columbus, Ohio into a ‘Smart City’, from TC, at least one company and that is ParkMobile, created some value with its Park Columbus: “Smart Columbus’s event parking management program built enhancements within ParkMobile’s existing offering, according to a spokesperson for the city. The $1.3 million project had over 30,000 downloads from October 2020 to March 2021. The city will continue to fund the app which will also display on-street parking via predictive analytic technology. “ 30,000 downloads during 6 months of pandemic, is a positive sign that touchless and easy, non-eventful parking experience works.

Technology unequivocally especially when intuitive, makes our lives easier. Be it in parking or beyond. However, when it is just for the sake of technology without the reflection on what is truly needed by the people, it might be superfluous and even wasteful. As Jordan Davis said in the wired article: Going forward, the city will rely more on “empathy and engagement,” rather than “‘This is a really cool tech that’s coming out of the private sector.’”

In other words, less ego, more service. Less talking and more listening. For most of us it is a lesson we only grasp after a high price paid.

Have a wonderful week and blessed Independence Day Weekend. God bless the USA.


Astrid Ambroziak

Editor, ParkNews.biz

Creative Director

Parking Today

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