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Ingeborg Rocker: Detroit Can Be Leader in Creating Urban Resilience Through Technology

Urban areas across Michigan and the United States are facing major challenges: rising populations, resource scarcity, pollution and failing infrastructure. As a result, government leaders continually struggle to find innovative ways to sustain communities. That can be difficult without a clear idea of the issues. Enter Dassault Systèmes and its smart city digital platform.

Kicking off the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, Ingeborg Rocker, vice president of 3DEXPERIENCity, outlined her vision and strategy for modeling and simulating virtual cities, capturing data that allows economic developers, businesses and governments the ability to make more informed decisions on everything from the impact of proposed development on a neighborhood, to planning for autonomous and connected vehicles on city streets.

3DEXPERIENCity’s 3-D modeling was recently used to virtually map the city of Singapore using a combination of images and data collected from public agencies. Rocker said with Detroit and Michigan leading the way in the convergence of technology and big data, the state is perfectly positioned to map its future so that all citizens can succeed.

“If we look at Detroit we have a number of stakeholders building the city. What if they all worked together?” Rocker asked.

By working together and planning for the future via 3D mapping or other means, Rocker said collaboration opens a window into how systems impact each other. For example, building a virtual Detroit can better help city leaders conceptualize how a new development might impact traffic, pollution, population density, etc.

Following Rocker’s keynote, she was joined on stage by Keith Collins, executive vice president and chief information officer for SAS; John Kwant, vice president of City Solutions for Ford Smart Mobility; and Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, for a discussion on Michigan’s Digital Future.

Key takeaways:

  • Michigan’s digital future is tied to the collection of big data and technological innovation.
  • Personal data should be viewed as an asset with opportunities to monetize the collection of that data.
  • Startups play a key role in the convergence of technology and big data.
  • Michigan has an opportunity to lead the digital future with Henry Ford Health System’s participation in a National Institutes of Health study seeking 1 million Americans to partake in a national data collection project.
  • Michigan and Detroit can be leaders in the technology future by bringing analytics to the edge.
  • Access to transportation in urban centers are key to growing a healthy population and Ford Motor Co. has taken major steps to position itself as a leader in personal mobility.
  • Cities will move at different paces to accommodate connected and autonomous vehicles.