Episode Archive

SCP E299 Using Artificial Intelligence to Create Thriving Communities, with Dr. Mariela Alfonzo

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast I have a very interesting conversation with Dr. Mariela Alfonzo. Mariela is the Founder and CEO of State of Place, an AI-driven, urban design data and predictive analytics software that helps citymakers create more thriving communities more effectively, cost-efficiently, and inclusively. In this episode Mariela begins by telling us about her background in Urban Planning, her focus on how the built environment shapes our perceptions and what a Smart Community means to her. Mariela then tells us how she began her startup, State of Place, a bit about what they do, and the range of clients Mariela works with. Mariela then shares with us a use case where her work has made a real impact and she explains how the built environment is actually formed in the world from a cultural context. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of addressing the issue of equality and how our environments can predetermine how well we live. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it! 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Mariela’s background in Urban Planning 
  • Her focus on how the built environment shapes our perceptions and what value it can bring 
  • What a Smart Community means to Mariela 
  • How Mariela began her startup State of Place 
  • A bit about Mariela’s startup and what they do 
  • The range of clients Mariela has been working with
  • A use case where Mariela’s work has made real impact 
  • How the built environment is actually formed in the world from a cultural context and how it differs 
  • The emerging trends of addressing the issue of equality and how our environments predetermine how well we live 

Quotes: 

“For about 20 years, my focus has been on quantifying how the built environment shapes our choices, our perceptions, or feelings or attitudes, and then how in turn, that impacts different aspects of value. So not just economic value, but also health value, environmental value, and social value. And the goal has been to really use this much more data driven, and evidence based approach to advocate for more livable, equitable and sustainable places.”

“When I define a Smart Community, it’s more about the outcomes that it should deliver [such as] healthy, liveable, sustainable and equitable [communities], with technology being something that enables those outcomes in more effective and cost efficient ways.”

“[State of Place] collects data on 125 different aspects of what we call the microscale built environment, at the street level. So these are things like whether there’s sidewalks, crosswalk markings, curb cuts, the width of the roads, all sorts of different land uses, whether there’s on street parking, outdoor dining, again, everything that really influences how we feel in a place which then translates back to these different quality of life factors.”

“[State of Place] is able to quantify how those community scale infrastructure investments ultimately translate into the things that resonate to people’s lives. So that really helps to communicate the value of why cities are investing the way that they are, but also identify what are the best return on investments, and most effective use of funds.”

“The Smart City and innovation office, they tend to be really great champions of the tool. We’ve worked within the public health and public works community and economic development. We’ve also actually worked with the private sector as well. Some real estate developers that are social impact focused in particular, as well as real estate investors, that also tend to have a social impact investment. And we’ve worked both in the US, Europe and China as well.”

“I’m really excited by the folks in the health equity tech space. Because they’re very much about the equity there, they’re right there. But they’re looking at it very much from a either individual health perspective, or a public health perspective, I think there’s a huge opportunity for these communities to come together the Smart Community community, the health tech community, because so much of these are intertwined, and they don’t see as many people focusing on the built environment piece within that health equity community.”

Links: 

State of Place Website 

Episode 278 with Emily Yates 

Episode 280 with Chelsea Collier 

Episode 219 with Sandra Phillips 

Connect:

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

Connect with Mariela via LinkedIn, Twitter or email: mariela@stateofplace.co  

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community  

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital

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SCP E301 Where to Next for Smart Cities and Communities Part 27

SCP E301 Where to Next for Smart Cities and Communities Part 27

Hi #smartcommunityfriends! I’m back with another bonus episode of the Smart Community Podcast sharing various guests answers to the question, ‘Where to next with Smart Cities and Communities?” And this time I’m sharing with you the answers from these guests: ...

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