U.S. Congresswomen Introduce “Smart Cities and Communities Act” Despite Opposition and Warnings in re “Smart Cities”

By B.N. Frank

Worldwide opposition to “Smart Cities” continues to increase due to concerns about significant cybersecurity, economic, privacy, safety, health and environmental risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4).  In 2020, Toronto cancelled its “Smart City” plans due to public outcry (see 1, 2).

A 2018 survey revealed that 66% of Americans did NOT want to live in a “Smart City”.  Nevertheless, two congresswomen have introduced new legislation to promote and provide funding for creating more of them.

From Smart Cities Council:

Announcing the Smart Cities and Communities Act!

The Smart Cities Council is pleased to report that Representatives Suzan DelBene and Yvette Clarke are re-introducing the Smart Cities and Communities Act, today – May 20, 2021. This legislation is directed at helping our communities throughout the country. This will support the rebuilding our our cities as we re-build infrastructure and is a significant milestone in our urban renewal.

The timing could not be better. As the nation comes out of the pandemic, Congress is set to consider historic legislation which will enable the rebuilding of our communities.

The Bill will:

  • Coordinate existing smart cities and communities programs across the federal agencies through the development of an interagency task force.
  • Provide funding to carry out smart cities and communities demonstration projects.
  • Creates a workforce training program to facilitate smart infrastructure deployment.
  • Issues such as cybersecurity, procurement, and standards development will also be addressed in the legislation.

Finally, the bill promotes equity and inclusion as a central theme throughout.

The Smart Cities Council has been educating cities globally about using technology and intelligent design to make cities livable, workable and sustainable for over ten (10) years. It has been a central goal of the Council to engage all stakeholders at all levels to support this effort. The Council believes that the US Federal government has a great role to play in this effort.

From Steve Crout, the Director of Policy and Resilience Programs at the Smart Cities Council “There has been perhaps no greater opportunity to pursue the development of smart cities and communities as the nation comes through the pandemic and Congress undertakes legislation to enable a massive rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure. Representatives DelBene and Clarke are leading the way through the introduction of the Smart Cities and Communities Act.”

Smart Cities Council congratulates Representatives DelBene and Clarke for re-introducing the Smart Cities and Communities Act.

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