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Connected Nashville Dimension 6: Smart Governance

Governance is a shared responsibility between the Metro Government and the community. Together we can build a strong, sustainable, smart and connected infrastructure, which comprises the technological, structural and community resources needed to support and enhance living. It is the responsibility of the government to be transparent and responsive to its citizens, and civic engagement is the responsibility of the community. Smart governance facilitates civic engagement by using technology to understand community priorities and to align the direction of technology-based solutions across Metro’s departments and agencies.

Strategies in Dimension 5, Smart Environment

Strategy 17: Enhance Civic Engagement Infrastructure

Nashville’s residents and visitors expect to interact with their networks through digitally enabling technologies such as the web, mobile apps, texting, and various types of social media. Meanwhile, Metro’s population mix continues to become a more diverse, multi-cultural environment as Nashville grows rapidly. To engage our public now and in the future, Metro departments and agencies must likewise use a variety of communications channels, in the modes and languages used by our residents. Developing a modern and consistent set of tools for civic engagement will increase awareness of Metro Government’s services and enhance transparency. Over time, it will also improve accountability as Metro departments and agencies understand the true demand and types of services necessary and respond to those needs.

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Strategy 18: Expand Communications Infrastructure

Wired and wireless Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) form the backbone of Metro Government’s communications infrastructure, including access to the Internet. Many smart city technologies rely on continuous flow of voluminous data to optimize systems, service delivery or real-time reporting. Slow, intermittent or unavailable connectivity places undue limits on smart city applications and services. Metro has historically relied upon outside vendors for these services, including a far-flung leased fiber optic cable backbone for operations. As new communications technologies develop, Metro must be able to provide a coherent, stable, robust and scalable ICT network upon which to pilot and adopt those technologies to be prepared for when and how Metro operations and services begin to require them.

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Strategy 19: Continue to Develop a Robust Data Infrastructure

Access to detailed, real-time information empowers people, and the systems that support them, to meet their goals. A city’s operational systems and the activities of its inhabitants generate astonishing quantities of data. This data is captured by an increasingly wide array of sensors and control systems. To derive meaning and benefit from this data, Metro must be able to move it across a robust, secure telecommunications infrastructure. The supporting data architecture should promote and support collaboration through consolidation, storage, analysis, reporting, security management and visualization of data in an aggregated, accessible, and transparent manner. This data infrastructure will facilitate computing, optimization, and predictive modeling and provide real-time management alternatives, advice, and solutions to the continual challenges facing our growing smart Metro.

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Strategy 20: Develop Sensor Infrastructure

Smart Cities drive technology solutions using not only the data created by human hands, but also through the inputs from and readings of an array of sensor types, that can capture points in time continuously. When technology solutions are deployed in combination with a communications infrastructure that can transport readings, the ‘Internet of Things’ or IoT is the broad term for these connected technologies. These datapoints in time may then be analyzed and acted upon in aggregate and in combination with other data.

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Strategy 21: Develop Smart City Infrastructure

Meeting community goals using technology is not just about the technical tools that address community issues and meet community goals. There is an array of structural processes that have emerged in smart cities globally, which speed and facilitate adoption of solutions. Key among these is the concept of governance, which is a methodology that defines the responsibilities, accountabilities and processes for designing and executing smart city objectives.

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