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The Journey Toward a People-Centered Smart City — ICYMI

Emily Royall, smart city administrator for San Antonio, discusses the city's journey, the intersection of urban planning, data and technology and how the "smart city" conversation should evolve.

Neuroscience and urban planning — one might not see much of a connection between the two, but the complex adaptive systems studied in the former also apply to the latter. So says Emily Royall, whose undergraduate work in neuroscience prepared her for subsequent MIT graduate work in city design and development.

"Technology is the easy part; people are the hard part," said Royall, who is now the smart city administrator for the city of San Antonio. "Technology is integrated in cultural systems, so when we use tech we're not just using it to apply to a problem, we're doing it in a complex environment made of cultures and people, so that's challenging."

On this episode of "In Case You Missed It," she talks with Dustin and Joe about studying cities as a living organism, the legacies of bias in urban planning, lessons from her work as a U.N. people-centered smart cities adviser, non-technology solutions and the application of technology to improve people's lives.


Read about San Antonio's smart city vision.

Find out more about the U.N.'s people-centered smart cities program.


“In Case You Missed It” is Government Technology’s weekly news roundup and interview live show featuring e.Republic* Chief Innovation Officer Dustin Haisler and Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris as they bring their analysis and insight to the week’s most important stories in state and local government.

Follow along live Fridays at 12 p.m. PST on LinkedIn and YouTube.

*e.Republic is Government Technology’s parent company.
Dustin Haisler is the Chief Innovation Officer of Government Technology's parent company e.Republic. Previously the finance director and later CIO for Manor, Texas, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. As President, Haisler drives exponential growth, implements new ideas and promotes a corporate culture that rewards creativity. Read his full bio.
Joseph Morris is the Chief Innovation Officer of <i>Government Technology's</i> parent company e.Republic and a national keynote speaker on issues, trends and drivers impacting state and local government and education. He has authored publications and reports on funding streams, technology investment areas and public-sector priorities, and has led roundtables, projects and initiatives focused on issues within the public sector. Joe has conducted state and local government research with e.Republic since 2007 and knows the ins and outs of government on all levels. He received his Bachelor of Arts in government and international relations from the California State University, Sacramento.