Smartcoast.us - What is it?

It is our belief that population has a dramatic impact on a geographic area's economic vitality and that to reach the 1 million person threshold along the Florida Gulf Coast requires the combination of all of the Counties shown below. The graphic is deliberately drawn without County boundaries to reflect the need to avoid building the Smart region using the traditional jurisdictional model used by the Economic Development agencies. Instead we focus on the cities and towns because as Anthony Townsend says in his book Smart Cities, “Local is the perfect scale for smart-technology innovation for the same reasons it’s been good for policy innovation—it’s much easier to engage citizens and identify problems, and the impact of new solutions can be seen immediately. Each of these civic laboratories is an opportunity to invent.”

The SmartCoast is comprised of Smart Cities and Strong Towns, it is built on the pillars of Connectivity, Mobility, Security and Sustainability using the key ingredients of Strategic Leadership, Entrepreneurial Support, Talented People, Organized Angel Investment, Fiber and Wireless Connectivity and Innovation Districts.

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The graphic is deliberately drawn without County boundaries to reflect the need to avoid building the Smart region using the traditional jurisdictional model used by the Economic Development agencies. Instead we focus on the cities and towns because as Anthony Townsend says in his book Smart Cities, “Local is the perfect scale for smart-technology innovation for the same reasons it’s been good for policy innovation—it’s much easier to engage citizens and identify problems, and the impact of new solutions can be seen immediately. Each of these civic laboratories is an opportunity to invent.”

Smart Cities and Regions that provide the following pillars are successful, livable and workable based on information from https://www.smartregions.org.

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Community Pillar

The first step is establishing working groups and coalitions, like Northwest Florida Forward, Innovation Coast and other stakeholders. We need to breakdown silos and put people first.

Connectivity Pillar

The connectivity pillar creates a foundational layer that will allow smart city solutions to have impact and scale. We must connect our people, places, things and information with secure solutions. We also need to defeat the digital divide creted by socioeconomic, physical or geographical barriers.

The connectivity layer includes fiber-optics, 5G, and IoT solutions. We should embrace Congressman Gaetz's 5G Technology and Innovation work group and encourage a regional emphasis.

Mobility Pillar

This is about creating equitable and accessible transit and transportation systems to connect everyone to education, jobs, healthcare and opportunities.  Over the long-term these efforts will advance us towards autonomous mobility.

By creating Innovation Districts adjacent to public transit systems will better enable capable but transportation challenged employees with easier access to jobs.

Other options include bringing services such as Zip-car to the region and establishing scooter and bicycle sharing locations.

Resilience Pillar

The Resilience Pillar address many diverse risks and threats including Cyber Security, Personal Privacy, Public Safety, Environmental Sustainability, Infrastructure Resiliency and Social & Cultural Engagement.