Cities are the future of humanity because they offer a convenient, accessible, and smarter lifestyle. Every country is striving towards building more and more cities for better opportunities for its citizens. But cities are also the reason for climate change and massive carbon emissions. As we move further into the 21st century, it is now time that cities addressed the issues of climate change and inclusivity. In this episode, we talk to our guest Dr. Jonathan Reichental, an award-winning Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the city of Palo Alto. He talks to us about building great cities, their challenges, and more!
Dr. Jonathan is the CEO of Human Future, a global business and technology education, advisory, and investment firm. He is the former CIO for the city of Palo Alto, and a multiple award-winning technology leader with experience of 30 years in both private and public sectors. He talks to The Brand Called You about his experience of building a smart city and digitizing it amid the digital and economic divide.
Does Our Future Belong to Smart Cities?
By definition, a smart city makes use of technology and innovation to improve livability, workability, and sustainability. Dr. Jonathan explains that “it’s about recognizing, number one, that our future belongs to cities, that humanity’s future is in an urban context.” He talks about the different requirements of different cities for it to be deemed as smart. He gives a very good example of how people are getting smarter since covid-19 and have shifted to bicycles because they’re more sustainable.
“We have to address the sustainability issue to make our lives smarter and the planet healthier.”
How has Covid accelerated the digital growth in cities?
Dr. Jonathan shares his wonderful experience of working with Palo Alto state. He shares some very interesting anecdotes about his time at this project. He then shares the impact of covid on businesses. From working at homes, getting groceries delivered at your doorstep, or consulting a doctor online, covid has transformed our whole lives. Jonathan believes that this will impact the businesses but we will adapt to these conditions because of the convenience they bring.
Dr. Jonathan is also a popular blogger and author. He co-hosts the popular podcast, Drinking Wine Talking Tech. His current book “Smart Cities for Dummies” explains the complexities of improving the life quality of billions living in cities around the world. Tune in and listen to the expert!
Dr. Jonathan Reichental, CEO, Human Future