Improving the quality of life in cities using data


Imagining. Writing. Discussing.



The value of innovative approaches to city-building

By Carl Bodimeade & George D Thomas

Thoughts on the impact, ramifications, and sustainability of Federal Government funded Smart City programs in the United States and Canada.

Paper appeared in the July/August 2018 Version of ReNew Canada (



Detailed Findings and Recommendations Report


Technology is changing the way we interact with our environment, helping us to constantly evolve. It has spurred the conversation and implementation of smart Initiatives across all industries globally. One of the major areas this impacts us directly is where we live, and work – our cities. The Commonwealth of Virginia is taking these concepts and applying them regionally to develop Smart Communities that uplift both urban and rural populations. Virginia looks to technology and data to help improve energy, water, and waste management, healthcare, public safety, public Wi-Fi/broadband, and transportation across the Commonwealth. In August 2017, the Commonwealth of Virginia established an executive work group to best practices, policies, processes, and technologies to equip Virginia’s communities with the resources, support, and tools to become smart communities. The work group aims to formulate strategies to leverage existing assets and programs to support:

  • Developing a replicable model for Smart Communities across the Commonwealth

  • Aligning smart systems and devices from diverse sectors such as transportation, energy, manufacturing, and healthcare—in fundamentally new ways to enable communities to improve services, promote economic growth, and enhance the quality of life

  • Establishing Virginia as a global leader for the development of Smart Communities

George D Thomas, was invited to lead the transportation subgroup for this initiative. “I’m honoured to have been asked to lead the Transportation Work Group. With active participation from private enterprises, regional universities and various levels of governments, we hope to deliver a clear, actionable set of recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly in the new year.” says George.