Wayne Rash included remarks from Walker Kimball of Bechtel in his eWeek coverage of the Council's Smart Cities Week® event held in Washington, D.C. in September, 2015. Below is a brief excerpt from the article; click here to read the full eWeek story.
The job of delivering the data for the smart city is part of what's behind Bechtel's role in the Smart Cities initiative, which is headlined by the Smart Cities Week taking place in Washington. This is the first time that Smart Cities Week is taking place in the United States. Previous conferences have all taken place in European cities due to the belief by many that cities in the U.S. were less interested in efficiency.
Whether that belief is well-founded or not, Bechtel and its partners, which consist of a Who's Who of global corporations, brought the conference to Washington. Smart Cities Week is put on by the Smart Cities Council, the chairman of which is former PC Week editor Jesse Berst.
The idea behind making a smart city work is to find out what parts of the city work best, and encouraging people to use those parts. The way to find out what works is to instrument as much as possible and that means monitoring devices that play a role in efficiency. And yes, that means an even greater expansion of the Internet of things (IoT) than we're already seeing.
"The downside is that you have to enter into the conversation of privacy concerns," Kimball said. Adding to the complexity, there are cultural differences relating to privacy, including how much sharing of what type of information is acceptable to people. For example, some people may object to the reporting of how much water you use for your shower and some may not.