Chicago moves to improve links with tech sector

Chicago has put itself forward as a ‘living lab’ as part of a new pilot project to help the city better connect with the technology sector.

Together with Mastercard and the Global Cities Business Alliance, the pilot will look to engage the city, not with business, but with the technology sector to improve the likes of urban transport networks, the delivery of better public services and large-scale digital projects.

“This partnership will help solve the technology challenges Chicago faces today and in the future,” said Steve Koch, Deputy Mayor of Chicago. “I look forward to seeing the benefits this partnership will produce for residents throughout Chicago.”

The city will identify the projects for assessment, engage the relevant technical and business subject matter experts, and build connections to local partners to support the project, including Chicago Next and the Illinois Technology Association. Mastercard, with input from the city, will define the evaluation model and lead the data collection from identified projects.

“As a global technology company that’s working with major cities around the world, Mastercard understands the economic, social and environmental challenges stemming from rapid urbanisation,” said Hany Fam, Executive Vice President, Mastercard Enterprise Partnerships. “We applaud the City of Chicago for pioneering a ‘living lab’–as an optimised interaction between cities and their tech sectors can help drive inclusive growth and a better quality of life.”

The project will develop a framework of common themes and interventions, identify ways in which to overcome barriers, and catalyse more effective future interactions between the city and the tech sector. A first set of outputs and learnings will be presented in New York in June, 2017.

For more insights visit www.cities-today.com and join the conversation on Twitter: @cities_today.

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