We pride ourselves on creating and delivering cutting-edge models that help explain economic value, ROI, and efficiency of smart city solutions. We have worked closely with various governments, so we understand city leaders concerns, the decision making process, and budgetary processes that cities face. “Our experts have high-level academic and economic knowledge of practical realities that city leaders deal with,” said Steve Wray, ESI SVP. When we start engagements with clients, we work to understand a city or county’s goals, strategy, plan, and budget and incorporate citizens input and opinions. Wray says, “We bridge the gap between citizens’ expectations and government’s expectations to help leaders make informed decisions.
Extensive and Comprehensive Expertise
ESI has worked with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), in partnership with the City of Newark and Invest Newark to help them connect citizen’s expectations with their technology goals and objectives. We created a connected plan for Newark – by becoming a connected city, Newark can leverage smart technologies to further interconnect the local government and its citizens. The Connected Newark plan serves as a framework for future policy and investment as Newark progressed along its connected city journey.
Turning to another common need of cities: reliable transportation. ESI has worked with SEPTA to determine the impacts of congestion on the City of Philadelphia. While congestion is in part a signal of success, if not managed properly it reduces the attractiveness of downtown Philadelphia as a business location, limiting job growth and opportunities for Philadelphia neighborhood residents and undermining a key competitive advantage of the city. Further, delays impact buses to a greater extent than cars, deepening existing equity challenges and setting into motion a vicious cycle. We worked with SEPTA to quantify the economic and social losses that congestion engenders. The scale and scope of these impacts demonstrate that there is much to gain from addressing this issue.
We’ve also worked on multiple multi-client studies analyzing and determining how cities around the world are transitioning to becoming “Smart” Cities by creating and using smart technology, energy, and mobility. Our latest multi-client study being Smart City Solutions for a Riskier World, which explores how 167 cities—with diverse populations and economies—use smart innovation and public-private partnerships to drive results.
We want to continue doing work in this space, and the recent launch of our new thought leadership initiative, ESI Center for the Future of Cities will allow us to do that. We continue bringing our expertise in higher education, real estate, economic development, transportation, and government policy to urban ecosystems, because we believe smart cities are not just about investing in new technology, but making sure that technology is integrated into the strategy of a city and improving quality of life.
ESI is eager to deploy our expertise and staff to produce quality thought leadership and advance urban solutions. For more information, please visit our website, or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also contact us to learn how you can join this exciting new effort!
Lee Huang brings over 20 years of experience in economic development experience to ESI public, private, institutional, and not-for-profit clients. He leads consulting engagements in a wide range of fields, including higher education, economic inclusion, environmental sustainability, historic preservation, real estate, neighborhood economic development, non-profits, retail, state and local government, strategic planning, tax policy, and tourism/hospitality, and is a sought-after speaker on these and other topics.
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