Pittsburgh Roadmap to #Inclusive Smart City Innovation

This project was completed in Pittsburgh, the city of bridges. Residents of the city may cross multiple bridges on a daily basis. Yet, they rarely think about the bridge as they cross it or ponder how different their lives would be without it nor do they analyze what went into building that bridge. Even so, bridges are extremely important. They help to take us from one place to another; places like school, work, to meet with friends, to engage in civic activities. And because bridges are so important, they require important inputs – careful planning and engineering by experts, more than enough of the right kind of resources, and time, plenty of time.

This report aims to begin to think about strategies to bridge the digital divide, which is defined as the gap between those who have ready access to the internet and those who do not. This may not be a bridge that you can physically see but it is no less important. It is a bridge that takes people to school, to work, to meet with friends, and to engage in civic activities. As such, building this kind of bridge requires the same inputs as building a physical bridge – careful planning and engineering by experts, more than enough of the right resources, and time, plenty of time.

Technology is a vital part of today’s reality. It is used in all aspects of life and taken for granted if one has easy and affordable access. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys the same kind of access and availability or the knowledge of how to use technology. This again, is the digital divide. And it must be bridged. As the mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto said: “To be truly successful, Pittsburgh’s technology boom has to be accessible for all…The city will never reach its full potential unless it supports innovation through digital literacy…,” His sentiment are not exclusive to Pittsburgh; President Obama supports keeping the internet free and open. This issue is vast and extremely complex but we worked hard to begin chip away at some of the difficulties in order to provide a few recommendations to the city of Pittsburgh.

SOURCE: This project is a part of Pittsburgh Roadmap to Inclusive Innovation.

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