The 1960s witnessed the birth of rock supergroups. And now the first smart city supergroup is launching featuring ex-rock stars of municipal U.S. government.
An article on the State Scoop site reports on the formation of the CityFi consultancy by veteran leaders of such cities as Los Angeles, D.C. and Chicago. The consultancy aims to advise urban governments on the deployment of connected sensor technologies that are the bedrock of smart city initiatives.
“We advise cities, corporations, foundations and startups, helping them make sense of our urbanizing world,” the consultancy said in an online posting last month. “CityFi believes that great cities come not from monolithic projects but rather emerge from carefully-designed underlying conditions — street grids, equitable housing policies, business-friendly regulation — so that beneficial complexity can grow.”
As well as working with city governments, CityFi also plans to advise private sector players who want to do business with municipalities in the rollout of smart city initiatives.
“The public and private models that informed urban design in the 20th century are in the process of massive transformation,” the group said. “Businesses need open-minded governments and those same governments need private sector innovation for mutual success.”
CityFi has been all over the map
The various members of CityFi have been working separately, consulting for such cities as L.A., Seattle, Denver and Nashville in the past year alone.
However, they are now pooling their talents to provide services that cover three core areas: municipal innovation, community empowerment and the business of great cities.
Specifically, CityFi looks to advise on data and innovation, transportation, technology and public spaces.
CityFi was co-founded by former Chicago and Washington, D.C. transportation chief Gabe Klein and former Chicago Chief Technology Officer John Tolva.
Its roster also includes: Aspen’s ex-Mayor Steven Skadron; Chicago’s ex-CFO Lois Scott; and L.A’s former Transportation Technology Strategist Ashley Hand.
The formation of CityFi comes as more municipalities indicate they want to manage their smart city initiatives locally, with less interference from federal governments.