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New York Named “2016 Best Smart City,” NYC To Host 2017 International Conference On Urban Technology At Brooklyn Navy Yard

November 28, 2016

Recognition by Smart City Expo World Congress highlights groundbreaking efforts to build stronger, more sustainable, resilient and equitable city

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that New York was awarded the “2016 Best Smart City” by the Smart City Expo World Congress in Spain. The award recognizes cutting-edge initiatives that help resolve urban challenges and benefit cities and their residents. This announcement comes at a time when the City is seeing major progress related to Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan, which aims to create a more sustainable, resilient and equitable city.

“New York is proud to be recognized as the capital of innovation and progress, and a city where everyone has equal access to opportunities and success,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are committed to ensuring we continue to be the leader of urban sustainability, resiliency and technology, and we are honored to host Smart Cities NYC ’17 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard this coming Spring."

Earlier this month, the Smart City Expo World Congress announced a new partnership to hold their first event in the United States: Smart Cities NYC '17.  The international conference and exposition will focus on the intersection of technology and urban life and will be held May 3-6. More than a dozen City agencies and offices will participate alongside public and private sector leaders and influencers from around the globe.

“There could be no better place to hold this important event than in New York City and at the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” said Jerry Hultin, Chairman and Executive Director of Global Futures Group. “Smart Cities NYC ’17 will bring together world-class keynote speakers, experts and residents for constructive discussions and provocative debates, while also showcasing and advancing cutting-edge solutions for creating smarter, safer and more resilient global cities.”

“Brooklyn Navy Yard has been a center of innovation since it was first used to build ships 200 years ago," said BNYDC President David Ehrenberg. "Brooklyn Navy Yard continues that tradition today as home to a mix of older manufacturers and a growing number of companies that use advanced technologies to design, engineer and manufacture products – which now employ more people than at any time since the Navy left Brooklyn. We are delighted that in recognition of the role we play in making New York City the world's smartest city, we've been asked to host this incredible event.” 

The 2016 Best Smart City Award highlights key progress by the de Blasio Administration in four areas:

Expanding Connectivity for All

  • The Mayor’s Office, New York City Housing Authority and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) kicked off new efforts to bring free high-speed Internet service into the homes of tens of thousands of low-income New Yorkers, starting with the nation’s largest public housing development.
  • In 2016, the City also broke ground on LinkNYC, the world’s largest fastest and municipal Wi-Fi network. To date, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors have used the Wi-Fi more than 50 million times. 

Piloting and Scaling Smart Technologies

  • NYC continues to pilot and scale smart technologies to improve government services, neighborhood connectivity and the lives of New Yorkers. This includes an additional $3 million investment in gunshot detection sensors to enhance public safety and an $18.6 million connected-vehicle pilot with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Growing the Innovation Economy

  • In 2016, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) launched Urban Tech NYC, an accelerator program providing 100,000 square feet of affordable space and prototyping equipment to help entrepreneurs and innovators address the most pressing urban challenges in sectors such as energy, waste, transportation, agriculture and water.
  • To help connect government agencies to new smart city solutions, the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation launched a series of new Calls for Innovation in 2016 and a new digital discovery tool at

Ensuring Responsible and Equitable Deployment

  • New York City recently developed the world’s first set of comprehensive guidelines for ensuring the responsible and equitable deployment of smart city technologies. In September, the White House and the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation announced that more than 20 cities had signed on to this effort.

To expand upon this progress, the City recently added two new members to its senior technology team: Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño and Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan. As CTO, leading the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation, Gamiño is working with all City agencies as we continue to develop a Smart City strategy, and head up the City’s rapidly expanding Broadband Program. Sreenivasan works to promote access to City government through technology and serves as the City's primary liaison to the tech start-up community.

“Smart City technology is essential to creating a more responsive and equitable government,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño. “As a global leader in the Smart Cities movement, we welcome Smart Cities NYC '17 – and we will continue to innovate to ensure that every day New Yorkers are able to thrive in a more sustainable, resilient and equitable future.”

“LinkNYC stands as one the largest investments in public broadband infrastructure in our history,” said DoITT Commissioner Anne Roest. “This transformational project, which is being replicated in London and other big cities, is an important step towards Mayor de Blasio’s goal of providing every resident and business access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service by 2025. DoITT is honored to work in support of that effort.”

“The rapid growth of our urban innovation sector demonstrates that building a sustainable, resilient city isn’t just smart planning – it helps support new businesses that create good jobs for New Yorkers,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “Programs like Urbantech NYC provide the resources that entrepreneurs need to build sustainability and resiliency into the DNA of our City’s economy.”

Additional information on Smart Cities NYC ’17 is available online at

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