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Kingston needs more than Technology to Become a Smart City — ICT Executive

Friday, June 14, 2019

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KINGSTON, JAMAICA –Delroy McLean, Senior Director of C&W Business Jamaica says technology cannot be the primary focus for Kingston to be a smart city, it requires stakeholder engagement, public-private partnerships and the successful navigation of social issues as critical milestones.

He said this while speaking on Wednesday at the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) Private Equity, Infrastructure, SMEs, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Conference on the topic,Kingston as a smart, creative city.

During his speech, McLean theorised that people are the enablers of technology, with the ability to impact the prospects for Kingston as a smart city and a “smart transformation” he said, cannot be technology-led with a focus on fixing people-problems, instead people must be at the centre of the process in order for the transformation to occur.

“We must re-evaluate the existing idea of a smart city: our people and cultural issues require us to begin by consulting with the residents and businesses in Kingston. Residents and businesses must buy into what it means to be part of a smart city and its prospects for a cohesive and augmented experience. Members of the informal economy such as people washing cars and vendors will also need to be included in this engagement process,” stated McLean.

McLean also encouraged a collaborative approach where government leverages technology and the expertise of the private sector to create a connected environment.

“There needs to be a link between “smart initiatives” such as street Wi-Fi, smart parking, smart street lights and closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) with current Government-led accessibility programmes which increase disabled access, create safer communities and improve urban design.

“Making Kingston into a smart city requires collaboration and engagement on all levels. If this is not achieved, we will have a city with the latest technology but without people and businesses who are ready to make the most of it,” he added.

The Private Equity, Infrastructure, SMEs, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Conference which was hosted under the theme,Delivering Economic Growth Through Partnerships: Financing Regional Infrastructure, SMEs and Innovation. Presenters and panellists included: Dr. Parris Lyew Ayee – Director of Mona GeoInfomatics, Dr. Sean Thorpe – Associate Professor & Head of School of Computer & Information Technology at the University of Technology and Lisandra Rickards – CEO of Branson Centre.

The conference covered a range of topics including opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation and investments and strategies to build businesses through creativity and innovation.

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