Why is the US Department of Homeland Security Interested in Smart Cities
Insights from the Department’s Security, Science and Technology Division
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology division has jumped into the Regional Smart Cities conversation in a big way, with a budget from Congress and support from the President, according to André Hentz, Deputy Under Secretary (Acting) for Science and Technology at DHS.
Speaking on the The Internet of Everything, Connectivity and Security in Smart Regions leadership forum at last month’s Smart Regions Congress in Washington, DC, Hentz explained how the Internet of Things must used to improve public services and reduce the potential for negative impacts while improving quality of life for all Americans.
"As we build out our cities and regions, we see a natural opportunity to partner with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, Hentz said.
Explaining the connection between technology advancements in IoT, resulting data and the potential for improvements, Hentz used flooding catastrophes as an example.
“Flooding is the most common and expensive disaster issue for FEMA. However, by using IoT sensors downstream, we can coordinate across communities and regions to better predict potential hazards and reduce disaster relief costs,” Hentz said.
Hentz said the DHS is dedicated to collaboration across sectors, focusing on public safety, security, privacy, and commerce, working with private and public entities to achieve swift progress.
"We have to change, in the federal world, about how we think about public-private-partnerships," he said, urging regional, state and local leaders to do the same.
“The federal government is focused on the protection of privacy and other laws, while simultaneously preparing to identify and support smart technologies to improve quality of life for all Americans,” Hentz said.
RSCI supports interdisciplinary and interagency efforts to develop technology and process planning standards at the local, county, state, and federal level; to educate and align leaders around available resources; and to understand and address pressing problems in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The core mission is to improve the quality of life across the nation while alleviating strained municipal budgets using smart technologies and strategies.