Opinion

The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders


If you are interested in having your voice heard on Smart Cities Dive's Opinion page, please read our editorial guidelines and fill out the submission form here.

  • An artist's rendering of a city streetscape. A high-tech car approaches a crosswalk as pedestrians pass by.
    Image attribution tooltip
    gremlin via Getty Images

    Together, EVs, AVs and multimodal transportation will create more vibrant cities

    Gas stations, subway stations, parking garages and roads are among the city features we can reimagine as new mobility technologies change how we get from point A to point B, writes a leading exec at Gensler.

    Andy Cohen • Aug. 5, 2022
  • A construction worker out in the heat cools off in water fountains.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Mark Wilson via Getty Images

    Extreme heat is here. Here's how we create a heat-resilient nation.

    Heat is the top weather-related killer in the U.S. In the face of worsening climate change, helping communities manage heat will require cooperation among local, state and federal governments, one researcher writes.

    Ladd Keith • July 13, 2022
  • Business concept with hundred dollar bills on top of downtown buildings
    Image attribution tooltip
    skodonnell via Getty Images

    The vast, untapped potential of city procurement

    The procurement process — often governed by complex regulations and overworked staff — typically occurs outside public view. That needs to change if it's to help the community meet its environmental and social goals.

    Sascha Haselmayer • June 27, 2022
  • Traffic light with traffic camera
    Image attribution tooltip
    Veni vidi...shoot via Getty Images

    AI-enabled cameras and lidar can improve traffic today and support the AVs of tomorrow

    Upgrading traffic cameras with AI improves performance and prepares for advancements such as autonomous vehicles. Future systems will likely tap the benefits of both cameras and lidar, write the co-founders of AI platform Derq.

    Georges Aoude and Karl Jeanbart • June 17, 2022
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Mark Kolbe via Getty Images

    Don't forget about the creative community in the rebuild of US infrastructure

    Previous infrastructure projects used top-down solutions, often without local input, and often resulting in fracture neighborhoods. This time, let’s incorporate community voices — and local artists — to find transformational solutions. 

    Rip Rapson and Regina Smith • May 26, 2022
  • Front end of a blue tiny house with under skirting and storage unit in the back. Shaded windows in the front of tiny home. Fence.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Mechelle Brooks via Getty Images

    Blame local zoning, not Wall Street, for this housing crisis

    Local zoning laws and NIMBYism are preventing the growth of affordable housing and greater housing density and contributing to labor shortages in urban areas. 

    Atticus LeBlanc • May 24, 2022
  • housing, suburb
    Image attribution tooltip
    jimfeng via Getty Images

    Corporate housing is key to addressing tight housing market, relocating workers

    As workers increasingly migrate to suburbs and smaller cities, high housing costs and limited supplies might delay a home purchase. Regulations aimed at vacationers shouldn't limit extended-stay rental options.

    Angela Healy • May 11, 2022
  • City development.
    Image attribution tooltip
    ictor via Getty Images

    To reduce transportation emissions, make it realistic for people to ditch cars

    Building walkable communities with easy access to public transit is key to reducing our reliance on cars and achieving environmental goals, writes the CEO of Keolis North America.

    David Scorey • May 2, 2022
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Pgiam via Getty Images

    Harassment and intimidation are driving local leaders away from public service, and we all stand to lose

    “I genuinely worry about how our nation’s cities, towns and villages will attract and retain the talent we need,” writes the head of the National League of Cities.

    Clarence E. Anthony • April 19, 2022
  • Image attribution tooltip
    David McNew via Getty Images

    For the Building Performance Standards Coalition to be effective, the White House must think bigger

    The former head of the U.S. Green Building Council weighs in on how federal, state and local government partners can go beyond just reducing building emissions as they pursue decarbonization.  

    Mahesh Ramanujam • April 8, 2022
  • Gainesville, Georgia's WeGo on-demand transportation service app.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Via Transportation

    What big cities can learn from the rural US about public transit

    Grappling with bare-bones transportation networks, rural communities are implementing new transit innovations, a trend that federal infrastructure dollars could accelerate. 

    Scott James Matheson and Sam Couvillon • April 6, 2022
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Drew Angerer/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Envisioning a policy framework for the growth of AVs and SAVs

    Public policy will need to evolve with vehicle automation advances to ensure privately owned, shared and fleet AVs meet community needs. Examining the likely phases of this transition can help officials anticipate policy needs.

    Susan Shaheen • March 22, 2022
  • Veo - phone scanning scooter
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Veo

    In it for the long haul: 5 steps to secure micromobility's future

    Veo CEO Candice Xie shares insights on how the industry can walk the talk in terms of becoming environmentally sustainable and more financially resilient.

    Candice Xie • March 9, 2022
  • Close-up photo of female hands with smartphone. Young woman typing on a mobile phone on a sunny street.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Kirill Smyslov via Getty Images

    Citizens want authentic engagement opportunities, not just notifications

    It's up to governments to build digital on-ramps to help citizens overcome community engagement barriers. With modern solutions and professional support, digital engagement can become an everyday event for any community.

    Andrea Facini • March 7, 2022
  • Solar panels on a rooftop with New York CIty's skyline in the background.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Getty Images

    Making corporate net-zero rhetoric real in 2022

    Businesses' net-zero commitments are new promises to do good for broader society, going far beyond the company's own operations, the authors write. 

    Chris Deri and Sasha Mackler • March 1, 2022
  • Image attribution tooltip
    David McNew via Getty Images

    Revisiting California's natural gas hookup subsidies

    California is one of the biggest consumers of natural gas in the U.S., and has been adding new gas customers faster than any other state. These trends are in direct conflict with its ambitious climate goals, the authors write.

    Clifford Rechtschaffen and Simi Rose George • Feb. 23, 2022
  • Matching Day and Night New York Skyline at sunrise, midday, night and on a rainy day.
    Image attribution tooltip
    ferrantraite via Getty Images

    To decarbonize buildings, think like an entrepreneur

    The most innovative ideas to slash emissions won’t have impact if they never reach the market, writes Reshma Singh, who focuses on building technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Reshma Singh • Feb. 18, 2022
  • Aerial view of mobiel phone cell tower over forested rural area of West Virginia to illustrate lack of broadband internet service.
    Image attribution tooltip
    BackyardProduction via Getty Images

    Strategies that make universal broadband access a reality are needed

    As the federal government readies $65 billion for broadband adoption, local leaders should make thoughtful, culturally-responsive strategies that connect all of our communities, writes the CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.  

    Antonio Tijerino • Feb. 16, 2022
  • Male hand holding smartphone to use GPS navigation of travel destination and swipe to read data on navigator.
    Image attribution tooltip
    RECVISUAL via Getty Images

    At last, an infrastructure bill that gives people a reason to get out of their cars

    The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could bring tech-enabled mobility to urban ‘transit deserts,' expanding economic opportunities while reducing emissions and traffic congestion, writes Via's head of public policy. 

    Andrei Greenawalt • Jan. 6, 2022
  • Fermata Energy has partnered with the City of Boulder on a vehicle-to-grid charging project
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Fermata Energy

    The wrong policies will hinder electrification — here's what we need to do

    The challenge is how to expand consumer adoption and speed up the transition to electric cars and efficient electric heating systems, writes a commissioner with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

    Abigail Anthony • Oct. 21, 2021
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images via Getty Images

    We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet cities' pressing needs. Let's get it done.

    Passing the Biden infrastructure bill will have ripple effects across the U.S., writes Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, driving investments in areas including electric vehicles, energy efficiency and recycling infrastructure. 

    Kate Gallego • Oct. 18, 2021
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

    Time for utility companies to step up by supporting the Clean Electricity Performance Program

    Achieving more clean energy is feasible, affordable and would benefit our economy and public health without compromising power system reliability, writes Ceres' senior program director of climate and energy.

    Dan Bakal • Oct. 15, 2021
  • new york city cycling biking bike
    Image attribution tooltip
    Barnes, Elvert. (2019). "IMG_6415" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    We can't forget public transit, walking and cycling in the push to decarbonize transportation

    Electric vehicles have lawmakers' attention as one tool to mitigate the climate crisis. But perpetuating private vehicle use won't move the U.S. toward a more equitable transportation future.

    Pooja Shah • Sept. 23, 2021
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Tim Boyle/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Buildings are infrastructure, so Congress should treat them that way

    Creating a 21st-century transportation network while letting our nation’s buildings crumble is no way to responsibly address an infrastructure crisis, let alone build back better, writes a former congressman and association exec.

    Russ Carnahan and Vincent R. Sandusky • Sept. 16, 2021
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    With longstanding mobility problems back in the spotlight, cities must consider autonomous vehicles

    Many historical transportation challenges in the U.S. are returning worse after pandemic lockdowns. Local leaders have a golden opportunity to leverage autonomous vehicles to create more efficient, equitable systems.

    Eric Tanenblatt • Sept. 10, 2021