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Building Cities of Tomorrow with Ford

Photo of Kirsten Billhardt
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The promise of continued advancement of technology is a massive opportunity for our world’s cities. As we sit in traffic, look for parking, or brake for a pedestrian, we long for new and smarter ways for mobility in cities to become more livable and sustainable. We at Dell Technologies believe that the scale and complexity of mobility in cities – where over half the world’s population now lives – is matched only by its absolute importance to everyday lives.

We are proud to be working with Ford and other corporate partners to help deliver on this promise through the City of Tomorrow Challenge. In Pittsburgh, Miami, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are using a design-led approach from Ford that puts an emphasis on listening to the community through qualitative and quantitative research, co-creation from a wide range of stakeholders and landing on a real, tangible pilot.

The ideas coming into the platform, or through the community workshops, reflect the unique characteristics of the three communities. In Pittsburgh, one contributed idea is to build new affordable light rail over the old industrial rail infrastructure. Another idea is a call for wayfinding for walking paths that avoid hills and construction. Another idea points out the lack of public transportation for the city’s east side. In Miami, with the 10th worst traffic on the planet, conversation on the site is dominated with ideas to help reduce time spent on the road. Contributors point out specific choke points, ask for new public transit solutions or, my favorite, recommend that everyone re-take a driver’s test. In Grand Rapids, however, people have an average of a 20-minute commute. Traffic is simply not an issue. This city has an opportunity to, say, rethink parking in the downtown area, or enhance bike paths or walkability.

This type of challenge perfectly aligns with our purpose, which is to create technologies that drive human progress. We are participating in the challenge alongside the cities and Ford and look forward to sharing ideas and learnings from experiences we’ve had in digital cities projects from around the world. We will learn from this project as well – and use this knowledge to better support our customers.

We believe we can play a key role in making Ford’s vision real. We have built our unique family of companies on the idea that progress lives at the intersection of technology and humanity and where better to further this idea than in some of the world’s great cities?


Kirsten Billhardt

Dell

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Photo of Maddison Bibb

https://www.hbs.edu/openforum/openforum.hbs.org/index.html

Photo of Brandon K

I have a Mustang myself, and I love Ford. A solid American brand regardless of the rumors of them being not well built. They in fact are some of the best cars and I enjoy supporting local and national jobs.

Photo of Josh Clark

Ford, Dell Technologies, AT&T, and Microsoft need to use their massive influence to get the railroads to see the big picture , especially if Amazon decides to locate in the Strip District. Strengthening Oakland's connection to Silicon Strip/Robotics Row and Downtown will make the city more prosperous and help put more money in everyone's pockets, including the railroads.

Photo of Josh Clark

"In Pittsburgh, one contributed idea is to build new affordable light rail over the old industrial rail infrastructure. " The problem with that as I have quickly learned - they're still using the old industrial rail infrastructure and sometimes there's a lot of bad blood between the rail companies and the city. For example: Railroad sues over Buncher plans for the Strip "Already facing questions from city council, a developer has run into another obstacle in its bid to redevelop 55 acres in the Strip District and demolish part of the historic produce terminal -- the Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. The railroad filed a lawsuit Monday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in an effort to block the Buncher Co. from moving ahead with the proposed residential and office development, claiming the plan violates a 1981 deed covenant involving the terminal building." http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2012/09/25/Railroad-sues-over-Buncher-plans-for-the-Strip/stories/201209250160