Day 1. City of Angels

“The future is here, it is just not evenly distributed”.

This was how Nathaniel Bavinton, Smart City Coordinator for the City of Newcastle, summed up the first day of the 2017 International Exchange in Los Angeles. Nathaniel's remark stems from back-to-back discussions with LA City’s Chief Data Officer, Chief Information Officer, City Planner and the Director of the Mayor’s Office Innovation team followed by insights from the University of Southern California and a visit to Hyperloop One’s Innovation Campus.

Australian delegates in downtown Los Angeles heading towards City Hall

Los Angeles' smart cities strategy is founded on a proactive whole-of-government approach to open data. Since Mayor Garcetti’s directive in 2013, the City has released some 1,100 data sets driving initiatives that have improved parking, tree management, clean streets and police recruitment as well as enhanced budget transparency. Barriers have been removed to empower each department to release their own data generating healthy competition both internally and between other cities, inspiring collaboration and the improvement of data standards. The City values innovation highly and recognises that a Smart City 2.0 is one that ensures digital equity and inclusion.

Australian delegates with City of Los Angeles' data team led by Sari Ladin-Sienne, interim Chief Data Officer, Office of Mayor Garcetti

The University of Southern California (USC) is an integral collaborative data partner for the City and has excelled in its work on the capture and analysis of traffic information with LA County Metro to transform the car-centric city to a city catering for multiple transport modes. The USC is likewise a firm advocate for a transformation to an open market data management system where you the consumer are in the information driver seat. Read more about the I3 IoT marketplace that brings together academics from the School of Engineering and Marshall Business School.

Hyperloop One - exploring the future of mobility.

Driving though is something you may not need in a city and region connected by Hyperloop One, a transportation system that uses vacuum tubes and magnetic levitation to move people and freight at speeds of over 1,000 km/hr. Planned to be deployed in the next five years, Hyperloop One will be an example of where innovation can deliver social equity by providing low cost access to reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly transportation.

We ended a long day as guests at the private residence of the Australian Consul General Chelsey Martin where the words of the Los Angeles Mayor about the city's baseball team seemed to equally apply to their smart city achievement.

“Los Angeles believes in this team. The Dodgers embody everything we love about L.A. — the grit, resilience, teamwork.”

As the US enter the final game of the World Series, our delegates embark on Day 2 of the International exchange in Palo Alto. We're gearing up for sessions with Palo Alto City Hall, Microsoft's Civic Tech and Engagement team and Stanford's Digital Cities Program at the Global Projects Centre.

Lilian Coral, Director - National Strategy, Knight Foundation (former Chief Data Officer at the City of Los Angeles) at the Australian Consul General's residence speaking to delegates.

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Level 23, 45 Clarence Street

Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

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