Even Smaller Cities Are Starting to Turn to New Urban Tech

Officials in the small city of Columbus, Ind., have placed sensors around biking and multi-use trails to gain insights into how the facilities are used as well as safety trouble spots.

In South Bend, Ind., artificial intelligence is used to process road pavement conditions.

Meanwhile, Fishers, Ind., hired a team of data analysts to drill into the thousands of data points the city collects and gain new insights.

“Honestly, the biggest challenge was taking that group of people with those tools and convincing all the other departments that the interaction with those individuals were of value,” said Scott Fadness, mayor of Fishers, in a panel discussion May 25 at Purdue University’s Discovery Park, an urban tech research facility.

Fadness was part of a panel of other Indiana mayors representing small cities to explore the topic of “Smart Cities in the Heartland.”