Tom Harris, CEO of HMB Inc. and a member of our Small Business Council shares why he believes Columbus is the nation’s ideal Smart City.
HMB is a business technology services firm that specializes in custom IT solutions. The company has more than 20 years of experience in IT consulting, project management, enterprise content management and system integrations in industries ranging from energy and real estate development to healthcare and education. Columbus continues to be a thriving city for technology innovation and creativity for HMB. We strive to continually develop the Columbus community by providing businesses technology solutions that are modern, efficient, and ahead of the curve. Should Columbus be the winner of the Smart City Challenge, our company would be able to employ more advanced technologists to work on the ensuing IT projects around the city, thus being able to better serve Columbus businesses.
We support Columbus’ desire to be the nation’s epicenter for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) research, development, and implementation through Smart Columbus. Implementing Smart Columbus creates opportunities for economic development and job creation for the Columbus Region, and provides ladders of opportunity to our community for better access to jobs, fresh food, services, education, and recreation. Columbus is a model city to show the nation and the world a practical path to implementing ITS and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Smart Columbus will build on a foundation of transformative Columbus projects like the Long Street Bridge and Cultural Wall that have become a national template for how transportation can reconnect neighborhoods. In addition, Smart Columbus is an important component of the CelebrateOne effort to address infant mortality and other community challenges.
Smart Columbus projects are revolutionary, universally accessible, and sustainable. Revolutionary projects include unprecedented data integration, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and implementing advanced sensors and cameras through smart intersections. ITS will be designed, developed, and implemented to provide optimal accessibility to youth, seniors, New Americans, and the ADA community. Columbus will also make significant investments, implement programs, and create incentives for transportation electrification and greenhouse gas reduction that will be environmentally and financially sustainable.
The Smart Columbus Team is composed of some of the world’s most talented individuals, companies, and organizations. The Ohio State University is in the top 20 of all universities in higher education research and development expenditures and a national leader in ITS research and development. Headquartered and founded in Columbus, Battelle Memorial Institute is the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization with 22,000 employees at more than 60 locations globally. IBM’s Client Center for Advanced Analytics is based in Columbus and is advancing research, development, client services, and skills training in the areas of analytics, big data, and cognitive computing. The Columbus Region is home to Honda of America Mfg., Inc., Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and the Honda North America corporate headquarters. All partners are providing significant resources and expertise to the Smart Columbus Team.
Smart Columbus is an important component of the City’s CelebrateOne effort to address infant mortality. The infant mortality rate is widely seen as the global standard for measuring the health of a community and in some neighborhoods of Franklin County the infant mortality rate is four times higher than the national average. CelebrateOne is focused on addressing infant mortality in eight priority neighborhoods in Franklin County and aims to reduce infant mortality in Franklin County by 40 percent and cut the racial health disparity gap in half by 2020. Mothers not accessing pre-natal care and the challenging social and economic conditions that exist in these neighborhoods are key contributors to infant mortality. Smart Columbus will improve access to pre-natal care and provide the ladders of opportunity to our residents to address the challenging the social and economic conditions in their community.
Our organization fully supports the Smart Columbus Plan and encourages the U.S. Department of Transportation to select the City of Columbus as the Smart City Challenge winner. Columbus is the ideal Smart City because of its innovative but practical plan, its strong partners, and its understanding of how transportation is the foundation to address social and economic challenges.
The City of Columbus was selected as one of seven finalists for the US Department of Transportation Smart Cities Challenge. The Smart Cities winner will be awarded $50 million toward implementing an intelligent transportation system that will not only create opportunities for economic development and job creation for the Columbus Region but also provide ladders of opportunity for our residents to better access jobs, food, services, education, and recreation.
Read Why I Support Smart Columbus: Tom Harris, CEO, HMB Inc. on Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
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