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How Miami Can Go From Smart Airport to Smart City

Albert E. Dotson, Jr. & Elise Holtzman Gerson

In the next few years, Miami-Dade County is expected to spend 1.5 billion dollars on upgrades to Miami International Airport. We recently wrote about Miami-Dade County’s SMART Plan, which will revitalize our transportation system and implement smart city technology. Now, through public-private partnerships, the County has the opportunity to bring this technology to Miami International Airport—the world’s gateway to the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America.

Airports serve as the perfect microcosm for which governments can implement smart city technologies and better determine results, successes, and failures of the technology. For example, airports are now implementing cloud networks and artificial intelligence that track how patrons move around, work, and consume to better understand economic activity, plan development, and optimize the patron experience. Airports are also utilizing this technology for predictive analytics to accelerate the security, customs and immigration process and increase efficiency in the airfield.

The same technology can be used by cities to enhance transportation, foresee needs with greater accuracy and efficiency, and better leverage funding and preparation for development and public-private partnerships. Within the government, cloud systems and artificial intelligence can be utilized to speed up government processes, making the public’s interaction with its government more efficient and enjoyable. Additionally, by their nature, airports have been the first in the move towards more flexible, technology-enabled work spaces. Local governments can also implement this technology to allow its residents to flexibly live, work, and play and to attract talent that is seeking innovation.

Public-private partnerships provide the perfect platform to achieve these goals in airports and beyond. As Miami implements these technologies at the airport, we have the opportunity to see first-hand how these technologies maximize innovation and the patron experience and how local governments can utilize these technologies to truly achieve full smart city potential.

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