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Betsy Gardner

Betsy Gardner


Betsy Gardner is the editor of Data-Smart City Solutions at the Bloomberg Center for Cities at Harvard University. Prior to working at Harvard, she worked in a variety of roles in higher education, including as research programs manager at Emerson College and as assistant director of training at Northeastern University. She also researched and presented on government spending and transparency for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. She holds a master's degree in urban and regional policy from Northeastern.

Digital solutions can modernize construction, increase safety and improve return on investments. But the traditional ways of purchasing and contracting are unsuited to the rapid pace of technological change.
Local-government officials are sometimes overwhelmed by new and improved digital tools. But they need to be open to technology that can help residents and public employees deliver critical services.
Critics of the smart city movement raise some valid concerns that local officials should pay attention to, but it’s not a case for antiquated municipal systems and procedures.
A collaborative of civil rights organizations is using geospatial data to help in the effort to improve response rates among the populations that are hard to count.
Designed around the user and not the bureaucracy, an innovative Philadelphia program uses data-matching so applicants won't have to fill out multiple forms for different assistance programs.