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P.R. gov’t promotes development of smart cities during workshop

Several Puerto Rico government agencies participated in the first resiliency and recovery workshop sponsored by the Smart Cities Council to teach local leaders how to implement new technologies to create strong cities that can cope with catastrophic events such as Hurricane María.

Representatives from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, the Central Recovery Office (known as COR3 by its initials in Spanish,) and the Chief Innovation Office were on hand for the event.

“The support of the Smart Cities Council is a powerful symbol of the commitment of this administration to a radical transformation of our island to make our cities models of habitability and resilience,” said Carlos Mercader head of the Federal Affairs Administration.

For its part, COR3 CEO Omar Marrero said “it is a great opportunity to discuss the challenges we face in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María and how we are focused on the recovery plan for a stronger and smarter reconstruction.”

“With the support of the Smart Cities Council we will take the recovery to a more advanced level, in terms of technology and quality of life of Puerto Ricans,” Marrero said. “This group has specialized in creating intelligent cities around the world and we can use their knowledge and commitment to implement best practices in Puerto Rico.”

The workshop is part of the Readiness for Resiliency Program sponsored by Qualcomm and is carried out with the collaboration of the Smart Cities Council, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

The event, in which Puerto Rican leaders were supported by specialists in the field worldwide, will continue today and tomorrow. During the workshop, Council experts used case studies that showed how other cities have benefited from technology to improve their disaster preparedness and enhance the quality of life of their citizens.

“The Smart Cities Board, a global alliance of experts in smart cities with thousands of completed smart cities projects, is committed to helping communities use innovative approaches to improve the quality of life of its residents,” said Philip Bane, CEO of the Smart Cities Council.

“We’re honored to bring our network of leading experts in smart cities not only to improve the lives of Puerto Ricans today, but for future generations,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Smart Cities Council gave Puerto Rico a humanitarian grant in November 2017to assist in the island’s recovery and reconstruction after the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María.

As part of this grant, the Council is committed to working with municipal and state leaders to develop a roadmap to get municipalities and localities to develop intelligently.

The Council, a nonprofit organization, has carried out projects in dozens of cities around the world in which it promotes the organization’s three core values:

  • Livability: Cities providing conditions free of pollution and congestion life. In addition, these cities have a digital infrastructure that enables them to provide instant and convenient way from anywhere, anytime.
  • Workability: Cities that provide the infrastructure — power, connectivity, information technology, essential services — to compete for high quality work worldwide.
  • Sustainability: Cities that provide services without reducing benefits to future generations.

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