Smart Cities Council holds Puerto Rico resiliency workshop
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3), the agencies that allocate disaster recovery funding, and other officials were joined by academic institutions, community groups and experts in smart city technology and processes at a resiliency and recovery workshop Tuesday.
The event, sponsored by the Smart Cities Council, which provides resources for cities to develop emerging technologies, was attended by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, as well as the executive director of the PRFAA, Carlos Mercader; Omar J. Marrero, executive director of COR3; and Glorimar Ripoll, the government’s chief innovation officer.
“The support of the Smart Cities Council is a clear sign of the commitment of this administration to a radical transformation of our island that turns our cities into models of habitability and resilience,” the PRFAA’s Mercader said in a release.
Council partners presented case studies to demonstrate solutions to address Puerto Rico’s Economic and Disaster Recovery Plan, as well as serving as subject matter experts in workshops aimed at municipal, local and central government leaders in which they showed how to use new technologies to create resilient cities that can cope with catastrophic events such as Hurricane Maria.
For his part, COR3’s Marrero said it was “a great opportunity to discuss the challenges we face in Puerto Rico after the passage of Hurricane Maria and how we are focused on the Recovery Plan to achieve a stronger and smarter reconstruction,” adding that “with the support of the Smart Cities Council, we will achieve taking the recovery to a more advanced level in technological terms and in the quality of life of Puerto Ricans; this group has specialized in creating smart cities around the world, and we can use their knowledge and commitment to apply their best practices in Puerto Rico.”
Puerto Rico was the winner of a 2018 Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Humanitarian Grant to assist in the recovery and reconstruction of the island following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
The grant entitles Puerto Rico to a year of expert mentoring and free products and services from council partners such as Qualcomm, Battelle, SYNEXXUS, CompTIA and IES.
The two-day workshop is part of the Readiness for Resiliency Program sponsored by Qualcomm and carried out with the collaboration of the Smart Cities Council, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (Naseo).
The workshop focus areas are: Distributed, Renewable Energy; Smart, Resilient Housing; Intelligent Transportation; Telecommunications; and IT Infrastructure.
The council has carried out projects in cities and states that are collectively home to more than 200 million people. The nonprofit says it promotes harnessing digital technology to improve livability, workability and sustainability, its three core values:
–Livability: Cities that provide clean, healthy living conditions without pollution and congestion. With a digital infrastructure that makes city services instantly and conveniently available anytime, anywhere.
–Workability: Cities that provide the enabling infrastructure — energy, connectivity, computing, essential services — to compete globally for high-quality jobs.
–Sustainability: Cities that provide services without stealing from future generations.
“The Smart Cities Council, a global alliance of smart city experts with thousands of completed smart city projects, is committed to helping communities use innovative approaches to improve the quality of life of their residents. We are honored to be able to bring our network of leading experts in smart cities not only to improve the lives of Puerto Ricans today, but also of the generations to come,” said Philip Bane, general director of the Smart Cities Council.