SCP E120 Smart Initiatives and Using Resources in India, with Aditi Padhi

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have a great conversation with Aditi Padhi, a Senior Associate in Planning and Smart City Initiative at infrastructure and urban development company, Surbana Jurong. Aditi tells us about her background in business and architecture, and her passion for Smart Community solutions, as well as why the concept is so important to her personally. She tells us how she sees India embracing Smart City initiatives, and we also talk in depth about two projects she’s worked on. We discuss how cities must carefully manage their resources, and the very real need to educate both citizens and local government administration and other professionals to be able to fully engage in and maintain Smart initiatives. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of disaster management and multi-use facilities within cities. As always I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

 

Listen here: 

 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Aditi’s background in business and architecture, and her passion for Smart Community solutions
  • Why Smart City concepts are so important to Aditi
  • The concept of a ‘no dig’ Smart City
  • How Aditi sees India embracing Smart City initiatives
  • Two projects Aditi has worked on
  • How cities must carefully manage their resources
  • The need to educate both citizens and local government administration to be able to fully engage in and maintain Smart initiatives 
  • The emerging trends of disaster management and multi-use facilities within cities

Quotes:

“The ‘no dig’ Smart City idea [is] that you don’t dig into the city you work with the surface of the city as much as you can.”

“70% of Indians will be living in cities, we are looking at 100 million urban population being added every 10 years.”

“We have to talk about how Smart Cities allocate their funds. Most of the time 80% of the funds go into these highly dense developed pockets… so it’s fund intensive and it fails because it doesn’t have the supportive infrastructure all around it.”

“The truth is that cities have limited resources and you have to engage all the various disciplines to meet all the infrastructure and service needs.”

“I think the education of citizens is very important. If people are not Smart the city will not be Smart, so why not start talking about this early on as early education?”

 

Connect:

Connect with Aditi at her website http://aditipadhi.com/ or via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community 

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E119 Using data to enable change and foster inclusivity, with Aileen Gemma Smith

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have a fascinating conversation with Aileen Gemma Smith the CEO at Vizalytics Technology Incorporated. Aileen Gemma tells us a bit about her very varied background from English Literature to Allied Health to data analytics, and how she became interested in the Smart City and Community space.

We discuss why it’s so important to understand the needs of all users so we can better deliver services to our community, and how data can help do us do this. Aileen Gemma also tells us how she sees Australia embracing Smart Concepts and some of the projects she’s working on right now, including with Transport NSW. We then discuss the power of having executive buy in and support to empower and enable teams to do things differently, and she uses the term ‘fluency’ to define the different and varied expertise and experiences we all have, and why we really need to be honouring and respecting our different expertise, experiences and fluencies when it comes time to integrate across disciplines.

Aileen Gemma and I then have a fantastic chat about changing the narratives for emerging women leaders in tech and bringing more diversity to our conversations so we can foster inclusivity. Finally, we finish our conversation discussing the lack of awareness about how much context matters when it comes to AI and machine learning, and the need for far more tech and data literacy across the board. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Aileen’s very varied background in English Literature, Allied Health and data analytics in Japan, the US and Australia
  • What sparked her interest in the Smart Community space and why it’s so important
  • Understanding the needs of all users so we can better deliver services to our community
  • How Australia is embracing Smart concepts
  • The power of executive buy in and support to empower and enable teams to do things differently
  • The opportunity in the public sector partnering with and learning from the private sector’s iterative approach to continually develop along the way
  • The different levels and types of fluency in various expertise, and the power of connectors translating and facilitating discussions/Honouring and respecting our different expertise, experiences and fluencies
  • Projects Aileen is working on right now, including with Transport NSW and a way finding tool in New York
  • Changing the narratives for emerging women leaders in tech
  • Changing conversations, bringing more diversity to our conversations to foster inclusivity
  • The emerging trend that we’re not talking about and don’t understand enough of how much context matters in AI and machine learning
  • The misunderstandings and mis-statements about data
  • The need for more tech and data literacy and how we can facilitate that education

Quotes:

“I was completely frustrated that there was data and information absolutely available that could make a difference for citizens, whether you’re a retired senior citizen or a local shop keeper, and [people with access to that data] weren’t making an effort to say, “Let’s put this together in a way that makes sense for these folks. Let’s create new kinds of solutions.” Because I guess a lot of people thought those aren’t sexy problems…I thought there’s got to be a better way to do this.”

“I think a Smart City is something that’s inclusive for everyone. Whether you’re a retired senior citizens, someone who has just moved there two years ago, or a local business owner, a Smart City solution has to be something that keeps you as part of that conversation.”

“That’s the challenge and frustration, right? If you look at various resources that different cities have in place, this is great a wonderful but if I’m a senior citizen and I don’t know that I can go to that website and navigate and find that information, I’m not using that resource, and then that’s a disservice. So we have to think about how can we give not only more awareness, but are you making these tools use-able?”

“There’s a willingness there, and I think there’s an opportunity in public and private partnerships to say, ‘Let’s try to do this a little bit better.’”

“When you come to it with we’re honouring and respecting the fact that we’ve all got a different experience an da different lens on it, that changes it…to ‘we’re a team, we’re all working together, let’s work towards the greater good.’”

“I don’t think that there’s enough talk about how much context matters in terms of artificial intelligence and machine learning…I think folks miss out on how powerful context is, as well as in some cases how hard it actually is.”

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community

Connect with Aileen via LinkedIn or on Twitter @aileengemma

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E118: Smart Mobility Lessons from Mexico City, with Pablo Lazo

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I had a great conversation on location in Mexico City with architect and city planner Pablo Lazo. I recorded this while I was away on my Churchill Fellowship visit to Mexico in March and I really enjoyed this conversation.

If you want to hear my reflections on my visit to Mexico City, as well as the other places I visited while I was away, you should subscribe to my exclusive podcast about my Churchill Fellowship. It’s exclusively for supporters on Pozible, so head to Pozible.com today, search for My Smart Community, and hit support. There’s several episodes there already for you to get stuck into and hear about the various people, places and platforms I investigated as part of her Churchill Fellowship.

In this episode, Pablo and I discuss his passion for cities and his interest in Smart Mobility. We really focus in on Mexico City and the opportunities and challenges the city is facing in terms of transport, urban sprawl, population and employment opportunities. We talk about the relationship between place, mobility and public health and how we can use data to better understand this relationship and provide better solutions for our communities.

Pablo and I also discuss Smart Streets, and how we need to be proactive about reducing conflict between different users on our roads, plus the emerging trends of both autonomous vehicles and walkability. As always I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Pablo’s background in architecture and planning, and his passion for cities
  • What sparked Pablo’s interest in Smart Cities and Communities
  • How Mexico City is embracing Smart Concepts
  • The opportunities and challenges facing Mexico City in terms of transport, urban sprawl, population and employment opportunities
  • The pros and cons of the public transport options available right now in Mexico City
  • Pablo’s perspective on making micro-mobility work within a broader mobility context
  • The relationship between place, mobility, public health
  • Smart Streets, and the importance of reducing conflict between different users on our roads
  • How data can help governments understand how people move and make more places organically walkable
  • The importance of having some baseline information or baseline effective data
  • The emerging trends of autonomous vehicles and walkability in cities

Quotes:

“I have always been passionate about cities and the built environment, from different angles [like] smaller scale issues such as architecture, but also large scale issues related to urbanism in general, and aspects that are now common ground for urbanism such as mobility, transportation, ecology, sustainability and urban resilience.”

“On one hand, [Mexico City] needs to move around people, but on the other hand the problem lies exactly on that aspect of the system.”

“If the place has options for better urban mobility or different alternatives to move around, you also address issues such as public health or economic value of that particular area of the city. So people in the local government have started to realise they are not only ticking the box in terms of public transportation, but they are addressing things that are equally important to the population such as… aspects that are related to public health.”

“Obviously the problem with congestion in Mexico City has a direct implication on sustainability because of the air pollution and noise pollution. The city has been working during the last 10 years on addressing how to reduce emissions that are coming from congestion.”

Connect:

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E117 Nurturing Smart Regional Hubs, with Sofie Pringle

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I had a brilliant conversation with Sofie Pringle, a designer with a passion for creating cities and urban places that increase people’s happiness and mental well-being. She is currently completing a doctorate in urban planning and design at Queensland University of Technology, focusing on the positive and negative effects that design and planning features have on user happiness and well-being. In this episode Sofie tells us about her PhD and what sparked her interest in this space, as well as why she believes there is a gap in the Smart Community conversation around the concept of happiness in the city. We also discuss sustainable urbanisation and the compact city fallacy, and why nurturing our Smart Regional Hubs is so crucial. We finish the chat discussing the emerging trend of the neuroscience research into the impact urban environments have on human brains, and how we’re just not talking about that enough. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Sofie’s background in design and her passion for making cities more mentally healthy
  • What sparked her interest in the Smart Community space
  • What a Smart Community is to Sofie and why it’s so important
  • The gap in the Smart City conversation around the happiness of the city
  • Projects Sofie is currently working on, including her PhD studying the impact of urban environments on human happiness
  • How Sofie perceives Australia currently embracing Smart concepts
  • The importance of nurturing Smart Regional hubs
  • The Compact City Fallacy and sustainable urbanisation
  • Why we should think about technology projects as being community projects
  • The power of a culture of trust and collaboration in organisations
  • The opportunities and challenges of integrating across disciplines, industries, governments and academia
  • Disconnecting government initiatives and policies from 4-year political terms and an individual candidate’s political career
  • The emerging trend of the neuroscience research into the impact urban environments have on human brains

 

Quotes:

“It takes a whole team, and sometimes a whole community, a whole neighbourhood and even a whole country to move society forward in leaps and bounds. It’s not going to be just one particular person, it’s going to be an iterative and a community and collaborative approach that’s really going to start to change what we see in the future.”

“The concept of liveability exists and wellbeing is a well-known term, but I think the understanding of people’s wellbeing in relation to particular urban environment designs and planning features, is a bit of a gap in understanding at the moment.”

“It could be a great idea to have a … board that’s off to the left of the government so that the really important policies and issues that Australia faces are not just governed by an [individual party’s] political term.”

“Where you choose to live will have an impact and an effect on your mental health. Some are more susceptible to it than others of course, but having a general public education about that is important because [we need to understand and unpack people’s motivation to move to the city.]”

 

Connect:

Connect with Sofie via LinkedIn or Twitter @sofie_pringle

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP 116 Where to next for Smart Cities and Communities? (Part 1)

Zoe is back behind the mic after her Churchill Fellowship world tour so you’ll start hearing her voice again at the start of the regular podcast episodes. In this episode we’re doing things a little differently. Throughout this year, Zoe has asked each guests an extra question which was edited out of the regular interview: “Where to next for Smart Cities and Communities?” In this episode you are going to hear an amalgamation of a few of the answers from this year’s guests.

The loose theme of this episode is around the need for decision making and action on climate change: you’ll hear from Don McLean from episode 102, Mark Thomas from episode 111, Lisa McLean from episode 105, Ricardo Van Leunen from episode104 And finally Chunga Cha from episode 110.

All the guests agree that we need some urgent action and we need to think not just about what’s happening now, but more about the long term. We need to make decisions now that may not benefit people now, but will be beneficial in the long term. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Listen here:

 

Previous guests featured in this episode: 

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod