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May 2019 Newsletter

Smart Cville promotes the use of technology and data to help communities find innovative solutions by facilitating the exchange of ideas between civic institutions and citizens.

In this issue:

  • Save the Date: Civic Innovation Day
  • Wrapping Up A Busy Apri
  • Neighborhood Outreach & Open Data Literacy
  • Our Recent Blog Post: Cville's Things Network

Save the Date: Civic Innovation Day

Smart Cville and the LinkLab at UVA are announcing the launch of a free, grassroots Internet of Things (IoT) network in Charlottesville. The two organizations have purchased and deployed technology from the Things Network to provide a set of open tools and a global network to build an Internet of Things applications. In order to raise awareness for the network and inspire innovation, Smart Cville is hosting an IoT-focused Civic Innovation Day on June 1. The 2019 Civic Innovation Day will ask participants to come with, or form at the event, teams to develop IoT solutions related to environmental sustainability, multimodal transportation, and other IoT focused community projects.

Charlottesville currently hosts five to ten active IoT network gateways, covering most of the City. Not only do places like Smart Cville and UVA have gateways running, but also community-based organizations like Computers4Kids and Charlottesville High School. Is your organization interested in hosting a gateway? Are you a maker with experience with LoRaWAN or Arduino devices and want to contribute? Contact us. This year we are happy to have WillowTree, Ting, Inc., Tech Dynamism, Crutchfield, and the City of Charlottesville i-Team as event sponsors as well as Bodo’s Bagels, Womble Bond Dickinson, Wegmans as food sponsors.

Read the full press release on our blog. Interested in attending? Let us know you're coming!

Wrapping Up A Busy April

This month we've had the pleasure of attending a few local events critical to our mission to empower civic innovation through data and technology. Here are just three events that we participated in:

Smart Cities Enabling Sustainability
We were given the opportunity to speak to a class at UVA on how smart city goals & projects can go hand in hand with the three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy, and society. This is the second year in a row that we have been invited to speak on the subject and the presentation was very well received.

Hello Data, Meet People
The Tom Tom Festival 2019 Civic Innovation Conference in partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow, UVa's Data Science Institute and Smart Cville hosted an event focussed on discussions around open data initiatives, emerging nonprofit journalism models, and community engagement strategies as a focus for civic innovation. The event featured 5-minute presentations from Sheila Dugan, Director of Cities, Center for Government Excellence, Johns Hopkins University; John Killeen, Founder & CEO, DataWorks NC; Beena Raghavendran, Engagement Reporter, ProPublica; and Larry Terry, Executive Director, UVa Weldon Cooper Center of Public Service.

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2nd UVA International Standard Education Symposium
We were invited to attend this symposium and to engage in a conversation around smart cities and what this can mean. This year's symposium aimed to answer four main questions: Is “smart cities” a desirable metaphor of envisioning the future? What does “smart cities” mean and how do we evaluate the costs and benefits of these technological investments? Are Smart Cities improving quality of living or supporting innovative programs or just supporting the efficiency of the status quo? And how can cities, as communal space full of diverse cultures and social contingencies, benefit from standards and standardization?
Nonprofit Dinner Series
We were invited by UVA's NetImpact group to speak on the mission of our nonprofit as well as the interworkings of our organization, and any volunteer opportunities that we have coming up. This was great exposure for our nonprofit and helps us to continue to strengthen our relationship with the University and university students interested in nonprofit work. NetImpact has been very helpful in supporting our mission. In fact, our current fellow is a member of the organization.

Meeting with CHS Engineering Students
On April 25, Smart Cville Founder Lucas Ames and UVA Professors Jon Goodall, Devin Harris visited with Engineering students from Charlottesville High School. Led by teacher Matthew Shields, these students shared details on their senior capstone and gave advice on how the three groups could build capacity to work together in the future.

Have an event coming up related to civic work & technology? Let us know here.

Neighborhood Outreach & Open Data Literacy

We are currently working with different neighborhoods in Charlottesville to promote the use and understanding of Charlottesville's Open Data Portal. Are you a member of your neighborhood association? If so, we would love to talk to you and your association about the use of open data in Charlottesville. The portal is a great resource for our community, but we fear that many residents may not be aware of it. We hope to educate neighborhoods on:

  • Understanding more about the open data portal
  • Understanding what is on the portal and why your neighborhood should care
  • Understanding how to use the portal
  • Understanding what is the future for the portal
If you are interested in a meeting like this, please Contact us.

Our Recent Blog Post: Cville's Things Network

Getting Started with the Things Network in Charlottesville
Interested in getting started with the Things Network in Charlottesville? We recently announced that the local community network has 5-10 active gateways that cover most of the city. We do not own, manage, or maintain this network, we’re simply champions of its existence and usage. To that, we wanted to curate some resources to help get you started. To see the full list of resources read the blog post here.

Our Civic Innovation Day will support the use of Cville's Things Network to develop IoT solutions related to environmental sustainability, multimodal transportation, and other IoT focused community projects. The event has been gaining traction and has been featured on UVA, Statescoop, and The Things Network.

Looking to learn more or have a great IoT application idea? Sign up for our 2019 Civic Innovation Day.

How You Can Help...

  • Donate to our non-profit or sponsor an event.
  • Email us to set-up a coffee/chat!
  • Share our newsletter with someone who may be interested.
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