Digital City Testbed Center: Using Campuses As Smart City Testbeds in the Binational Cascadia Region

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2020 IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP)

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The collection and use of digital data by “smart city” programs raise complex operational and ethical questions that can best be addressed through carefully-monitored pilot studies before urban innovations are more widely adopted. We have created a network of single-owner campuses (academic, government, corporate and nonprofit) in the Cascadia megaregion that connects Portland (OR), Seattle (WA) and Vancouver (BC), where smart city products and services can be evaluated before deployment in neighborhoods and business districts. On the five initial campuses, we are co-locating assemblages of up to a dozen technologies through which issues of data interoperability, management, privacy and monopolization can be explored. The initial research and policy goals of this network are to educate the public about smart cities, improve accessibility for populations with disabilities, prepare city residents for natural disasters, and monitor urban tree canopies so they can better mitigate the urban heat island effect. If replicated in other regions, this testing approach can accelerate cities' responsible integration of data science solutions that can address both local and global problems.


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