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This is a very positive initiative

    by Ryan Johnston     –     27 May 2020

North Texas communities launch innovation consortium

A group of 21 local governments around Northern Texas announced the formation of a civic technology-based nonprofit on Tuesday to share best practices and strategies for improving economic resiliency, transportation, infrastructure and emerging public health concerns.

The North Texas Innovation Alliance, or NTXIA, will convene representatives from the City of Dallas, Dallas County, Arlington, Plano and several other local government agencies to regularly to share how technology and data can be used to address various regional issues, including the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The organization, which claims to be the largest of its kind in the country, will assemble regional experts and agencies that otherwise would be alone in solving “immediate challenges related to COVID-19,” according to a press release. Beyond the current pandemic, however, the group will advise its local government members on how to set data standards and ensure data privacy and cybersecurity are built into government services.

The alliance is the latest in a pattern of state- or local-government groups that have formed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these alliances, like one formed by Washington, Oregon and California, have focused solely on coordinating plans to re-open businesses and public spaces as the viral spread is reduced.’

But NTXIA is also aiming to improve the quality-of-life and sustainability measures for residents in the region, according to its website. Once the group begins meeting regularly, members will form strategic advisory committees dedicated to specific causes, like improving the communication between educational institutions and local businesses, or how well cities conserve natural resources when building new infrastructure.

“Smart City collaboration is now moving beyond municipal boundaries, and more and more regions are working together in order to create seamless interchanges for their residents,” said alliance co-founder Jennifer Sanders said in the release. “Everyone benefits from the North Texas region working collectively to create the most compelling and innovative solutions that support government, residents and businesses, and to provide the infrastructure that can attract more residents and organizations, and is prepared to respond together with agility in times of crisis.”

The group is also part of Mastercard’s City Possible network — a group within its Global Cities division that promotes collaboration between city governments, the private sector and academia.

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