Smart Cities Forum

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego is high on the list of cities in America that are leaders in innovation and smart growth.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer was chosen as the keynote speaker at the Smart Growth Council’s three-day forum at Qualcomm’s company headquarters.

It was the perfect setting for a mayor to brag about his city, and Mayor Faulconer has a lot to brag about, as San Diego moves to the future.

Jesse Berst, Chair of the National Smart Choices Council said it is computer power, and innovation that will make cities more livable, sustainable and smart.

“San Diego of course is at the top of the list. San Francisco is doing some great things. New York is doing some terrific things,” said Berst.

The mayor began with a short video clip of a national geographic special, featuring San Diego, that talked about the greatest migration of all time being humans moving from rural to urban areas.

Cities that navigate that change will survive. Those that don’t will crumble. The emphasis was on innovation.

“Biotech Magazine scientists gave five of the top ten innovation awards in 2014 to San Diego companies. Forbes recently ranked San Diego as the best place to have a start-up in the United States,” said Mayor Faulconer.

What exactly is a smart city?

“In San Diego, we have more PhD’s per-capita than any other city in America,” said the mayor.

Is it about institutions? Is just about companies?

“Just last year, a few stats, we launched 412 new start-ups in San Diego. We created 73 new life science companies,” said the mayor.

Last year, San Diego was awarded 6,700 patents.

“A smart city is all of those things, and when we bring these elements together people, education institutions, and companies,” said the mayor.

The city is upgrading its website to better interact with citizens.

“You don’t have to go down to City Hall, get those services online, get the information you need, get permits, common sense things that we are actually starting to lead,” added the mayor.

The city will recycle sewage into drinking water, move to 100% renewable energy by 2035, and foster a culture of change and innovation.

“Our residents want us to make some of these changes, and particularly my job is to make sure that we actually do it,” said Faulconer.

San Diego is moving forward much faster than the rest of the country, and the more citizens get involved, the faster the city moves.

Categories: KUSI