Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Axios Managing Editor Kim Hart. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Wednesday morning, Axios Managing Editor Kim Hart hosted a series of conversations exploring the role both the private and public sector play in creating cities of the future.

Why it matters: Smart cities are predicted to make America's urban centers cleaner, safer, faster, and more sustainable, but they also raise ethical questions around privacy and inequality. Kim sat down with industry leaders to unpack both of these realities.

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association
Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro and Axios Managing Editor Kim Hart. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Shapiro discussed the importance of smart cities and the biggest trends he's seeing as they're starting to develop.

  • On why we need smart cities: "By 2050, two-thirds of the people in the world will live in cities and cities are already strained" and the best way to address this is with technology.
  • On 5G: "It is probably one of the pre-requisite installations required for smart cities."
  • On privacy: "Of course there are privacy implications [of smart cities] but we could put up guidelines and guardrails to protect our citizens while giving better service."
  • The biggest area of opportunity: "Transportation."
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Axios Managing Editor Kim Hart. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Mayor Berke spoke to the steps Chattanooga is taking to remain on the frontlines of smart city technology and innovation.

  • On Chattanooga’s city-owned fiber optic network: "It doesn’t miss any home or business … we’ve used it to build out the smartest, cheapest, most pervasive internet in the world."
  • On the 5G hype: "It’s difficult for us. Chattanooga is set up better for 5G because of our fiber backbone, but it's not going to reach some of our residents and we have to grapple with the policy implications of 5G, which we haven't done."
  • "It's not healthy for our country if the only places where innovation occur are New York, Silicon Valley, and Boston. A lot more places look like Chattanooga than look like that."

Go deeper: Chattanooga mayor says 5G hype is "difficult" for his city

Hicham Abdessamad, Hitachi Global Digital Holdings CEO
Hitachi Global Digital Holdings CEO Hicham Abdessamad and Axios Executive Vice President Evan Ryan. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

For our View From the Top segment, Axios Executive Vice President Evan Ryan interviewed Hitachi's Hicham Abdessamad about the role his company plays in bringing smart cities to life and the impact these cities will have on how we live.

  • How industries will be transformed: "It's not about rip and replace, it's about building a digital intelligent layer that will predict and provide better service to our citizens."
  • On whether smart cities will make people safer: "It's very certain. If you can deploy sensors around a city, we have access to thousands of cameras and with the help of A.I. and machine learning you can do deep analytics and make predictions."
  • Why smart city rollouts will take time: "You can't take a [smart city] blueprint and apply it across every city, because each one is different."
South Dakota Senator John Thune
Senator John Thune (R-SD). Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Senator Thune (R-SD), who serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, gave his take on what the federal government needs to do to enable smart cities.

  • America's rating. "The U.S. is a solid B” in terms of having the infrastructure necessary to build smart cities: “But we could be an A,” especially with the right investment.
  • “Whoever wins the race to 5G will benefit enormously economically from that.” We at least need to have a federal government that works as a partner and works to ensure that type of technology has the opportunity to succeed.
New York Representative Yvette Clarke
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Axios Managing Editor Kim Hart. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Rep. Clarke, who is the co-chair of the Smart Cities Caucus, discussed the future she sees for New York City and the importance of spreading smart technology beyond cities like her own.

  • On whether New York is already a smart city: "I think it has the potential to be a smart city. When we talk about mobility, our city is grappling with an aging infrastructure ... If we invest wisely we can build out a 21st century subway system."
  • Clarifying the Smart "Cities" Caucus: "I call it smart cities / smart communities" so we can address the needs of rural communities that struggle to get broadband access.

Thank you Hitachi for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
32 mins ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.