In March of this year, things were different. Bruno Mars topped the charts, the latest installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise had yet to be released and Sean Spicer was still U.S. press secretary. It was also the time when Seattle put out a notice that it was searching for a new Smart City Coordinator.
On July 20, the city officially announced that it has appointed Kate Garman to the position, where she will help implement and manage smart city projects, partnerships, systems and platforms. According to a city blog post, Garman will help coordinate smart city efforts across multiple departments and agencies.
The city’s departments of transportation, fire and public utilities all have plans underway to implement Smart City projects in the coming years — projects that will streamline traffic flow, foster economic development, and enhance aspects of the city’s livability, workability and sustainability.
“Seattle strives to become a smarter city, responsibly use new technologies and data to improve our community’s quality of life. This means bringing together stakeholders from across the city to understand when these technologies can provide value, and to facilitate deployment in a manner trusted by our community,” said Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller in the blog post. “We are excited to have a proven leader like Kate help us advance our efforts in this space.”
Garman moves to Seattle after working for Kansas City, Mo’s., Office of Innovation for the last two years. As an innovation policy analyst, she served as the legal and policy analyst, and drafted ordinances and policy recommendations to foster a culture of innovation in the city.
“Kansas City is a model for how cities can use technology to operate more efficiently, provide better service, and improve people’s quality of life,” said Seattle Digital Engagement Director Jim Loter. “I’m very excited that Kate is joining us in Seattle to help accelerate our smart city work.”
“I’m really excited to bring my experience and knowledge from my work in Kansas City to the Smart City Coordinator position in Seattle,” said Garman. “This work will be important in the future innovation of Seattle, and I look forward to working together with city departments and connecting with the community as we move forward.”