But this was midtown Manhattan. Instead of B-school dropouts, the geeks in question were actually silver-haired civil servants in charge of the IT operations for Boston and Edmonton. Though centuries old, each of the cities is racing towards decidedly cutting-edge goals of opening up access to municipal data for their residents and businesses to use and commercialize.
“Successful cities of the future aren’t necessarily the most efficient. It’s about engagement and citizen empowerment,” said Bill Oates, chief information officer for the City of Boston. “Our innovation is on people, to help constituents connect with the city.”
The CIOs were brought together by SAP to mark the U.S. launch of the software giant’s Urban Matters program, which aims to help municipal governments “deliver better-run cities” by opening up data streams for citizens and business to tap into.
*This article originally appeared on GreenBiz.com
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KEYWORDS: SAP, Big Data, Greenbiz, Innovation, municipal data, citizen empowerment, Boston, Edmonton, citizen insights, data
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