Cities exist, among other reasons, because they reduce the costs of trade and production for economic agents. Many predicted the advance of communication and virtual commerce would attenuate the growing role of cities. However, the great cities of the world continue to grow, and central districts enjoy a shine that was lost in front of the suburbs. It seems that the main reasons are the new economies of scale that come from. In any case, people still prefer to live in cities, and there is no indication that urban density will cease to increase shortly. The challenge for governments is to maintain the quality of life of citizens with a special focus on urban mobility. But, what is the role of technology in these new models?
Fortunately, technology advances and offers opportunities for cities to be “smarter” and therefore more efficient in tackling mobility problems. The concept of the smart city is a little diffuse and general, where the government has the task of mediating information flows and coordinating activities with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life of citizens in a broad sense. Many cities are implementing reforms that will gradually lead to more “smart” reforms. But the real change will be seen in the near future with the convergence of two processes that exploit the technological advance and which, until now, have developed in parallel.
About Mike Heiligenstein, the man behind the curtain
Mike Heiligenstein is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority that aims to stay a leader in mobility and transportation industry, not just in Texas where it is based, but all over the United States. Thanks to him, many infrastructure projects have seen the light and are now on the way of becoming extended programs for major park development and trails. Mike worked for over 23 years as a Central Texas public official in the communities of Round Rock and Williamson County. He is currently part of the board of the Texas Transportation Institute and the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. He graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Government, and then went on to pursue a Masters of Government and a Masters of Business Administration in the same institution. With a lot of work left, he will continue his commitment to smart cities and a brighter future in the suburbs.