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Exploring smart cities in Texas – Solved travel diary



Texas is more than oil – it’s building smart cities

Solved’s CEO Janne Hietaniemi just recently traveled in the North Texas visiting local Business Lead Riku Pirhonen. Janne attended a smart city seminar and discussed with city mayors and top-level decision makers, investors and local experts. These new smart city networks are currently in the process of being established, yet they are in a very early phase of the development. According to Janne, particularly public-private partnerships seem to be hot topic in Texas. Anyone in cleantech knows that the city of Austin is a fine example of smart city development and therefore an excellent benchmark target. Austin has shown us a great example how cleantech is developed in public-private partnerships like CleanTX and Pecan Street.

In Texas there are a lot of the discussions on technologies, but most advanced city leaders speak about ecosystems and x-regional collaboration. At the seminar it was stated that:

Eventually cities will see their citizens as their customers.

In practice this means that customer experience in the cities is a way to differentiate. Whether the city is in Barcelona or Dallas, 80–90 % of the framework in building and organization of the cities is the same, but the final 10–20 %  is about differentiation and building it´s own brand. Cities are also looking for smart ways in engaging their citizens and to collaborate via ICT. It was pleasant to realize the business opportunity for on-demand cleantech advisory service and online collaboration seems to be even bigger than in the EU – people are more familiar with the opportunities of gig economy and cities seem to be very dynamic and customer-driven.

 

In Texas there are lot of the discussions on technologies, but most advanced city leaders speak about ecosystems and x-regional collaboration. Austin, TX has shown us a great example how cleantech is developed in public-private partnerships.


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