A Smart City in Action
By Janey Brice and Mike Sadr
In downtown Mesa stands a voice? activated digital kiosk providing citizens and visitors a safe new way to navigate what is going on in this smart city - from checking rail times to looking at a road map or simply discovering a new restaurant. The physical presence of a Citypost kiosk in the business district of this Arizona city - population of 500,000 - is just one physical sign of how the City of Mesa government has digitally transformed the 35th largest city in the US into a smart city within the space of only two years.
This year will see the roll out of 20 more kiosks which will connect residents with Mesa City services and local businesses.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg of smart innovations which are taking place across the city's parks, schools, libraries and emergency services.
Driving the digital acceleration is the Mesa City government, who has invested more than US$10mn, and is quick to acknowledge a smart city is 'about people not just tech'.
The first step to becoming a smart city was to involve all of the stakeholders from the top down from the council, mayor, city manager and every single department director at City of Mesa Local Government and was led by chief information officer Travis Cutright.
His aim is to launch smart city initiatives that holistically transformed the City of Mesa.
The city now has free public Wi-Fi downtown, intelligent traffic systems and irrigation systems along with a new program which gives first responders priority access to communication channel s.
Cutright's role at the City of Mesa sees him responsible (Chief lnnovationlnformation Officer) to transform digital government and enhance the city's position as one of the nation's most digitally connected cities.