The Route Fifty Roadshow Goes To Columbus


Connecting state and local government leaders

We hope you'll join us as we explore partnerships, technology and smart cities live from the National Association of Counties Annual Conference.

County officials from across the nation are descending on Columbus, Ohio (or, as they see it, Franklin County) for the National Association of Counties' 82nd Annual Conference. Route Fifty will also be there, bringing our Roadshow to Columbus to join in the policy conversations and networking.

If you live in the Columbus area or will be in town for the NACo conference, we hope you’ll register to join us in person. If not, we hope you’ll watch the digital edition of the event on Aug. 1.

On Saturday evening, July 22, we’ll be holding a Cocktails and Conversation event live from NACo's conference. This event is open to the public, and will be an opportunity to network with county leaders from across the United States, as well as engage in a conversation on intergovernmental partnerships that are transforming how governments function—whether it’s around information technology for government or smart city solutions for their citizens.

State of Ohio Chief Information Officer Stu Davis will kick off the conversation. With over three decades of experience in state and local government and having served as president of both the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and National States Geographic Information Council, Davis is unquestionably a leader in state and local government information technology. We’ll explore what makes for great partnerships, where barriers arise, and how collaboration through data and technology can have a multiplying effect local leaders and provide better experiences for citizens.

We will also be joined by a panel of experts to explore how local governments are joining forces to integrate new technologies and join the “smart cities” movement. Smart cities has become a catch-all for integrating information technology into the physical infrastructure of cities; we’re going to discuss the issues faced when the dream of the city of the future becomes a reality of today.

Last year, Columbus bested 77 other cities in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge. As a result, they are sitting on over $50 million in prize money to help the city rethink fundamental questions of integrating mobility, data and sustainability. If executed well, it won’t just mean changes for Columbus and Franklin County, but the greater region as a whole.

Route Fifty will be joined by William Murdock, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, along with Mark Patton, vice president of smart cities for the Columbus Partnership to talk about the first steps the region is taking to implement the vision put forward last year. We’ll also discuss ways the region is looking to the future beyond just the smart cities initiative, including their application to build a hyperloop route connecting Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh—now a finalist in Hyperloop One’s global challenge.

Russ Brooks of Transportation for America will also join the conversation. Brooks leads Transportation for America’s Smart Cities Collaborative, which brings together 16 cities who are sharing data and experiences on implementing smart cities initiatives. Together, we’ll discuss what informal and formal relationships can do for planning, testing and implementing cutting edge solutions.

While the idea of government collaborating is often met with cynicism, we hope this event will be both inspiring and demonstrate that moving forward together is a matter of vision and common dedication.