“Our strategy for smart cities is very much going to be a people-centric approach and we’re going to try very hard to not let the technology drive the decision-making or drive the direction of the project,” said Jim Loter, Seattle’s director of digital engagement. “That’s one of the reasons why this position is in digital engagement and not, for example, in engineering and operations.”
“The smart city coordinator will report to Loter, whose office is charged with using technology to connect people with city government. In addition to managing AoT, smart city work will include several “ambitious” traffic decongestion pilots led by the Department of Transportation and an internal communications technology pilot for fire and public safety, Loter reported.
The new role is a way for the city to build more governance around smart city efforts, but it’s also a way to “demystify” smart cities for the public, collect use cases and validate programs already underway, Loter said.City Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller said it’s a “critical position” that will allow people from around the city to come together and develop a “shared vision” of what these new technologies can do.