Cities Are Getting Smart, and Feds Can Help Make Them Smarter

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Instead of forcing cities to reinvent the wheel with every new project, federal agencies can bring them to the table to share what works and what doesn’t work in areas like cybersecurity and privacy, said Sokwoo Rhee, the associate director of the cyber-physical program at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Rhee aims to kickstart that collaboration with the Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge, a program hosted by NIST and the Homeland Security Department Science and Technology Directorate that brings together technologists around the world to work on “smart” projects in transportation, public safety, waste management and a handful of other categories.

At the program’s Feb 6 kickoff, officials from NIST and DHS S&T encouraged teams to adopt standards for protecting smart systems and consider how projects can be upgraded over time to confront new cyber threats. Cities often set cybersecurity and privacy as “conceptual priorities,” Rhee said. “However, when it comes to an execution plan, they don’t really make it to the top of their list.”


Cities Are Getting Smart, and Feds Can Help Make Them Smarter