Think of the Pocono-Northeast and do you become aware of emerging technologies?
This process works in many larger cities, but can it work in a region made up of many smaller communities? The answer should be positive if communities in this region and counties can work together to carry out the same conditions that are acceptable in larger municipalities.
The growth of technology shows itself in smaller communities in less dramatic ways, however, practices and techniques can be shared between and among local governments, using proven national examples. A recent article in Planning, the magazine of the American Planning Association, describes strong models that can be explored in this region, especially from examples in San Francisco and Oakland, California. For example, the Emerging Technologies Open Working Group, composed of a coalition of city agencies, community organizations and industry representatives, could be formed regionally and their work could be shared with many local governments, and various councils of government .
It could develop recommendations that could be applied regionally. This has promise for emerging technologies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere and can be utilized to improve the delivery of services. The opportunity to enhance how services are provided should be advanced in many locales. Smaller communities need to think about how to achieve this as well as what takes place in larger cities. In this way, new ideas can be applied as they are proven acceptable.
Regional communities should try to get ahead of – not just react- to new technologies and the opportunities and challenges they bring. In this way, the application of technology as a source of support for community life can be advanced aggressively. One idea is to seek private sector support for applying their experience to public purposes. Many private companies may be willing to assist local governments and become partners in reaching toward new technology.
Innovation may take many years to become reality in regional governments, but the process should begin as soon as possible. Governments should navigate urban design and civic tech with citizens and sustainability in mind. Colleges and universities can be utilized as partners in applying new technology to public sector issues.
Think of what Amazon has achieved and its use of technology. The same application of new thinking can be used by public sector organizations in the Pocono-Northeast. This has generated much thought and resolve in other locations. Think of the role of robots being used regionally as they have been applied elsewhere. This should not replace but supplement the role of humans in delivering services.
One example in the Bay Area is robots use to deliver food. An Amazon system uses drones to deliver products and while this region may not be a test location for drones, it may not be long off. Therefore, the combination of private and public as well as nonprofit sectors to examine the use of technology makes eminent sense. Study the use of such thinking that has been applied in other locations and see what is best suited for this region.
The article states that “we are trying to balance between supporting those operating emerging technology and protecting the public infrastructure- residents, their privacy, labor, more vulnerable communities.” This is designed so that a clear permitting practice will allow operators to develop fitting technology . Here are a few ideas that could be used in this region.
• Study what has been accomplished elsewhere and apply findings to regional governmental life.
• Create a regional task force that meets the need of technology that should emerge in the region and develop steps to benefit regional citizens.
• Organize meetings and bring in specialists from other regions where emerging technologies have proven useful and beneficial.
• Conduct a survey of regional governments to identify how emerging technologies can best be applied.
• Tie emerging technologies to priorities such as economic development and community improvements.
• Health is perhaps the No. 1 economic driver of the region and there should be ways in which the health care industry leads the effort to focus on emerging technologies.
These, and many other steps would accelerate how emerging technologies can benefit the regional and its quality of life .