Blog by Traci Hiltonberry, Denver South Director of Innovation
The Women in Business of South Metro Denver Chamber & Economic Development Groups hosted their third annual joint meeting on June 7 at the Koelbel Library. The event featured a lively discussion about economic development in Denver South and public-private collaboration. Panelists included: Mayor Cathy Noon, City of Centennial; Mayor Jackie Millet, City of Lone Tree; and Luella Chavez D’Angelo, University of Colorado South Denver, Chancellor.
The discussion focused heavily on collaboration, with all panelists recognizing Denver the South Economic Development Partnership as, “a primer organization for facilitating cross-jurisdictional collaboration and public-private partnerships.” D’Angelo shared her plans to bring education in Denver South “out of the box” and a desire for the University of Colorado South Denver to become a lifelong education partner for learners of all ages. Mayor Millet was excited to discuss Lone Tree’s plans for the Link 2.0, an on-demand service that will provide last mile connections and subsidized shuttle service to the entire city. Mayor Noon discussed the importance of Centennial’s fiber initiative, stating that Centennial is the “most connected city in the United States.”
Mayor Millet and D’Angelo also discussed the importance of the recent annexation of the University of Colorado South Denver into the City of Lone Tree, which will provide access to the Lone Tree Police Department, a partnership for enhanced mobility connections, and an overall better awareness of the campus’ location. D’Angelo confirmed that the annexation does not change university’s commitment and connection to the entire South Metro Denver region as a community. The university will continue to be a higher education partner dedicated to building market-responsive programs for the population in this growing region.
And when there was time for only one question at the end, it came as no surprise it was, “What are you doing regarding smart cities?” All panelists confirmed there is a great deal of buzz surrounding smart cities in Denver South and that they are working to lead the way for technology deployment to better solve community challenges and create an enhanced live, work, play environment.
Both mayors noted transportation and traffic congestion are leading concerns for their citizens and that the cities are working diligently with the Denver South Economic Development Partnership Innovation Team to explore creative ways to address mobility concerns, such as a regional intelligent traffic signaling system and the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Smart 25 project, scheduled to launch in 2018. Other hot topics discussed were smart parking, LED lighting upgrades, and public safety issues. D’Angelo also noted that the University of Colorado South Denver is eager to be the academic partner in exploring smart city technologies and piloting innovative solutions for proof of concept in Denver South.