Smart city

Kansas City Innovation Chief Departs to Join Smart City Think Tank

Kansas City Chief Innovation Officer (CInO) Bob Bennett will depart from his position to become chair of urban development think tank Cities Today Institute.

In his new position, Bennett will help the institute lead the 20-20 Cities Today project, which holds events to bring city officials, industry partners, and other stakeholders in to discuss smart urban applications. Bennett said one of his goals in this position is to incorporate more cities into 20-20 so that more urban areas can adopt smart city solutions.

From the ideas that emerge from 20-20 events, Bennett hopes to create tools to apply to cities that will help modernize them in the long-term. Bennet and his team will coordinate with experts in other cities too.

“We are honored and delighted that Bob has chosen to lead the Cities Today Institute,” Cities Today owner Richard Foster said. “Bob is a key figure in terms of the digitalization of city services not only for what he has achieved in Kansas City but for his contribution to thought leadership and the debate around smart cities.”

Cities Today said in a news release that Bennett will leave his current position on April 14. As CInO, Bennett helped implement digital infrastructure along Kansas City’s streetcar line with Wi-Fi, connected street lighting, digital kiosks, and smart traffic lights.

Army veteran Lt. Col. Alex Braszko will fill Bennett’s position one he completes active duty May 1, Cities Today said. City Manager Troy Schulte and Braszko will focus on further smart city applications, and Braszko will manage their integration into the city’s systems.

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