Editor’s note: Steve S. Rao is a Council Member At Large and Former Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Morrisville and an Opinion Writer for WRAL Tech Wire. He served on the Board of the New American Economy, now the American Immigration Council, and on the NC League of Municipalities Race and Equity Task Force.
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MORRISVILLE – Last February, I wrote a Blog on how North Carolina and many local governments could learn from the successful smart city journey of the Town of Morrisville. ( https://wraltechwire.com/2022/02/04/making-nc-a-smart-state-lessons-learned-from-the-morrisville-smart-city-playbook/)
Remember, smart cities are using and collecting data from sensors to enhance the quality of services to Town residents, their quality of life, and can also promote economic development, by encouraging local tech companies and entrepreneurs that can develop smart city applications.
- SAM IT Analytics worked to set up and install sensors in our Parks, and set up a Smart City Dashboard, so residents can have visibility to their facility usage.
- Avid Pickleball and tennis players can know when their courts are being occupied.
- Residents can be notified when there are floods in our parks.
- A resident can book on demand transit to fifteen different locations in the Town with an app (Via) through our Smart Shuttle Program.
And our Smart City Advisory Committee and Staff worked to create a Mobile App, Morrisville Central, which can be used to get information on Town events, report on concerns in the Town. Morrisville Central is an ongoing innovation taking place in our Town as we are continuing to take input from residents on how the app can can bring more value to residents.
As N.C. Secretary & State Chief Information Officer James Weaver and his Technology Team continue to deploy Broadband across North Carolina, there has never been a better time for local governments to embrace this type of Smart City innovation than now.
Only a handful of municipalities in Wake County are implementing Smart City solutions. We need more places to share our successes, share ideas on best practices, and of course, grow our ecosystem of successful IOT start ups. In fact, I have shared ideas with Wake County Chair Shinica Thomas, that we establish a Wake County Smart City Task Force, charged with accelerating smart city innovation across Wake County. In fact, I am kicking off a listening tour across Wake County next week, visiting each local government and sharing the success of our Smart City Journey and providing them insights on how they can kick off our region.
Well, our first opportunity to gather and discuss these issues is today in Raleigh!
Kudos to Raleigh Smart Cities manager John Holden for organizing the Connected Triangle + Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center. During this summit, City Leaders, Policy Makers, and Tech Companies will be gathering to explore options for more regional collaboration. We invite you to envision the Connected Triangle+, a region where interconnected smart communities work together to create an extraordinary place to live, work, and visit—for everyone.
The Triangle has set the standard in smart technology and connectivity, and now it is time to dream bigger.
Mark your calendars for the Connected Triangle+ Summit on November 9, 2023, and join us at the Raleigh Convention Center as we reconnect and explore opportunities ahead. Register at:
Together, we can make the Connected Triangle+ the most connected region in the entire country, and perhaps even the world.
We can be Smart Region.
We can be a Smart State.
Lets get to work.