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Designing Tampa as a smarter city

Tampa is about to become a smarter city, thanks to Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

At a free seminar on June 12, local community leaders will have the opportunity to join national experts, such as noted futurist Daniel Burrus, in a discussion about technology-based solutions for cities.

The “Internet of Things: Smart Cities” seminar series will bring smart city experts to eight communities across the United States, including Tampa, where they will meet with local leaders to showcase the ways that the “Internet of Things” (machine-to-machine communication) can help cities increase economic growth, enhance safety, create more security and become more efficient.

The goal of the IoT Smart Cities seminars is to create cities that exemplify three distinct qualities: livability, workability and sustainability.

Discussion will likely include topics such as transportation and parking solutions, energy conservation, increasing citizen engagement, and how community leaders can redistribute available resources.

“With limited resources, municipal leaders are being tasked with finding ways to make their communities more efficient,” Dan Feldman, director of IoT Smart Cities at Verizon, says in a news release.

“Towns and cities can start with projects like energy-efficient smart streetlights, car sharing and smart parking,” Feldman explains. Then, by creating more energy-efficient or technologically advanced projects, cities can begin to save revenue that can be applied toward bigger investments, such as “tackling pollution and upgrading transit infrastructure."
Burrus, the New York Times bestselling author and technology futurist, entrepreneur and innovation expert, will be the keynote speaker at the Tampa IoT Smart Cities seminar. Burrus developed the “Hard Trend Methodology,” which has been adopted by city planners, government agencies and leading corporations as a method of connecting cities through technology.

A name familiar to many in the Tampa Bay area, Jim Shimberg, will be the event's guest speaker. Shimberg is the EVP and general counsel of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment (which owns the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are currently competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs), as well as the company representative to the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Tampa Hillsborough County Economic Development Corporation. Shimberg, who has over 30 years of experience practicing law in the Tampa Bay area, is also the COO of Strategic Property Partners LLC, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s real estate company (in late 2014, Vinik and his investment partners announced a plan to invest more $1 billion into 25 acres of land in downtown Tampa’s Channelside region).

The IoT Smart Cities tour is sponsored by Verizon Enterprise Solutions, a division of communications giant Verizon, in partnership with the Smart Cities Council. Along with Tampa, stops include Boston, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix and San Jose.

Tampa’s IoT Smart Cities seminar will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 12, at the Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 N. Westshore Blvd. To register or learn more about the event, click here.

Read more articles by Justine Benstead.

Justine Benstead is a feature writer for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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