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Making the case for modernization

A group of state and local IT advocates yesterday, including NASCIO's Doug Robinson, told members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee that while tech officials across the country made great strides amid the pandemic, government must ensure robust modernization continues as the crisis wanes. “There is no doubt COVID-19 served as the forcing mechanism for states to rapidly invest in short-term technology improvements and automation to ensure the continuity of government in a largely remote environment," he said. "Yet, as the worst of the deadly pandemic appears behind us, we are currently at a crossroads as to whether the technology and business practice lessons learned over the past fifteen months are here to stay or were just short-term stopgaps.” Benjamin Freed reports.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Six cities get Bloomberg teams

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced plans on Tuesday to fund “innovation teams” in six cities across the world, including San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for the next three years to boost their COVID-19 recovery efforts.  The organization will split $17 million in grants and technical assistance among the cities to provide their mayors with teams of data scientists and digital government experts. Each team will initially be focused on solving a high-priority issue specific to the city itself, like improving public health services or digitizing urban planning. Ryan Johnston has more.

ICYMI: Detroit CIO hired at HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has snatched away longtime Detroit CIO Beth Niblock to serve as its new CIO. In her seven years as citywide CIO, Niblock's been credited with using technology to improve the delivery of numerous city services and upgrading the technologies used by the city's police department. Since 2019, she's also served as the city's chief emergency management official, a position that put her at the forefront of the local response to COVID-19. Ben has details.

Smart cities are the new champions of placemaking

Technology isn't the only way to make cities smarter and more sustainable, Jonathan Reichental writes in his monthly column. More cities, he writes, should look at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2009 closure of Times Square to vehicular traffic, or Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo's ongoing effort to convert the Champs-Élysées into a 1.2-mile urban garden. Today, becoming smarter and more sustainable also means looking for ways to take the city back from motor vehicles, he writes. It’s about placemaking, healthy living and protecting the environment. Read the column.

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