When I think about where I grew up, one characteristic that made it special was the opportunity to grow up literally surrounded by education: Our home in Lexington, Virginia had Washington Lee University on one side and Virginia Military Institute on the other – and both of my parents were college professors. What I learned in Lexington shaped who I am today.
This feeling of hometown pride – and the specific qualities that make a city or community special for its residents – is central to a campaign Siemens is launching today: Proud to be Digital.
By 2030, six out of 10 people will live in cities and urban centers, and each one of these areas has something unique that helps truly define it and its essence. Whether that’s a tradition, a local custom, an iconic neighborhood, or a unique cuisine, all of these qualities foster a common bond and shape a collective identity.
But the other thing about hometown pride is that it fuels competition. And competition, more than anything else, is driving the strategies of city leaders today as they endeavor to reinvent infrastructure and improve quality of life.
Only two cities will soon face off in the Super Bowl. Yet a nationwide rivalry featuring all cities goes on, centered around economic growth, innovation, equity and sustainability. Cities are competing to attract businesses, talent, new residents and major investment.
And as they look to gain an edge, digital technology is making a significant difference.
Proud to be Digital, then, is a snapshot of Siemens’ partnerships with more than 100 cities across America. It spotlights cities across the U.S. that are harnessing digital technology to work more efficiently and effectively for their residents.
Our hope is that this campaign will help city residents and leaders understand how our digital technology can address complex challenges and turn opportunities into engines for growth. Whether we’re talking about more electric vehicle charging stations, more reliable, sustainable energy, or safer streets, being digital enables a city to do more of what makes us feel pride in where we live.
Proud to be Digital features cities like Holland, Michigan, which is home to an energy park with high tech-infrastructure for power generation and a unique snowmelt system. It features cities like Santa Clara, California, which is planning for electric vehicle charging stations, and Orem, Utah, which boasts more than 5,000 high-efficiency, digital LED streetlights.
From smart buildings in Memphis, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to reliable power and water in Hempstead, Texas, to electricity generated and shared in Brooklyn, New York, Siemens’ digital technology is transforming cities and neighborhoods across America.
When city leaders are empowered by digital technology, citizens have even more to be proud of. And that’s what Proud to Be Digital is all about.
So I look forward to sharing more with you about these cities here on our blog, Siemens Stories, and on Twitter. I hope you’ll also join the conversation on social media by following the hashtag #MyDigitalCity.