Cities that champion infrastructure improvements and embrace connectivity are well on their way to attracting today’s citizens and encouraging growth. Lisa Brown, director of local government, Johnson Controls, recently shared the benefits a smart city provides for its residents, workforce and visitors.
Q: What does a “smart” city look like?
LISA BROWN: A smart city considers the needs of today and tomorrow and invests in a strategy that takes advantage of connected technologies to manage energy and maintenance costs, reduce environmental impact, enhance comfort and safety and increase building values. This same technology also provides data to verify savings and regulatory compliance. The result is a thriving city brand and engaged citizenry that work together to attract and retain business.
In the face of shrinking budgets and a more complex regulatory environment, local government leaders looking to achieve this vision of a smart city are often challenged to think outside the box. They need to find innovative ways to fund solutions that make this vision a reality—things like networked LED street lights, citywide leak detection, closed-circuit monitors, emergency signaling and smart irrigation, to name just a few of the technology-based solutions that make cities smarter, sustainable and more efficient and its people comfortable and secure.
Q: With the Johnson Controls and Tyco merger, the company now has the most comprehensive building portfolio in the industry. What most excites you?
LB: The combined offerings of Johnson Controls and Tyco allow us to equip local governments with more products and services that meet requirements for safer communities. For example, connected lighting solutions that illuminate city streets and ensure energy savings also provide analytics for better traffic flow and parking management, digital signage for alerts and civic information, air quality monitoring and water detection for flooded street notification.
Q: Comfort seems like table stakes in the building industry. Why is it critical in local governments?
LB: Local governments work hard to continually improve and grow their communities. That’s accomplished by creating a feeling of comfort and confidence. Comfort means people are physically comfortable and feel safe in their homes, places of employment, restaurants and stores. It also means they are confident their technology will work wherever they go, providing access to the information required each day to live, work and play.
Q: Has the need for “green” been replaced by the need for “smart”?
LB: Once nice to think about, sustainability and green are now demanded by citizens and mandated by municipalities, many of whom have set goals for building efficiency. This is where “green” and “smart” intertwine.
Cities are benchmarking, using ENERGY STAR® standards and counting on efficiency measurement – whether made public or kept private – to be a motivating factor for ongoing improvement. Setting these energy benchmarks for a whole city requires consistent measurement and meaningful reporting on a scale beyond the building or portfolio level. Intelligent building technologies, including new cloud-based solutions, are helping communities meet that need, offering scalable solutions that work with other platforms and building systems.
Lisa Brown, Director, Local Government, North America
Lisa Brown joined Johnson Controls in 2003 and in 2011 was named regional sales director for North East Solutions. She moved into her current position in 2014 and is responsible for growth of the local government market in North America. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College.
Want to find out more? Ask our expert at 855-978-6871 or johnsoncontrols.com/localgov