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Jon Glasco

Jon Glasco is a freelance consultant and writer focused on innovation in smart cities and smart urban mobility. He has experience in executive and consulting roles in the telecommunications, mobile operator, public transport, government and professional service sectors. Jon holds an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

Recent Posts

Bologna: The Evolution of a Collaborative Smart City

By Jon Glasco on Nov 28, 2018 12:38:15 AM

Bologna, the seventh largest city in Italy[1] and capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, was recently named as one of the top three smart cities in the country. The city was praised for its decisions and actions to "bring together the quality of the environment, welfare policies and territorial innovation in an overall balance."[2] This smart city portrait provides a summary of Bologna's strategy and vision of a citizen-centric collaborative future.

The Force of a Collaborative Persona

When it comes to citizen-inspired innovation, cities often face a problem. The problem is that outdated regulations and inflexible rules become barriers when citizens wish to improve a local park, increase pedestrian safety or make other changes in their community—even when such changes increase quality of life.[3] However, the city of Bologna recognized opportunities to collaborate with citizens and improve neighborhoods and urban spaces.[4]

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Smart Prague: Building a Bridge to a Smart Future

By Jon Glasco on Aug 5, 2018 11:39:49 PM

Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, has been known during its renowned history as a magnet of commercial, cultural, scientific and political activity. This thriving city, also known as the City of a Hundred Spires, is home to more than 1.2 million people and generates an estimated 25 percent of the Czech Republic's GDP. With its enchanting architecture, visual charms and historic landmarks, Prague is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.[1]

If we could travel back in time to visit Prague in the 14th century, we would see builders constructing the Charles Bridge across the Vltava River to connect the city's Staré Město (Old Town) with Malá Strana (Lesser Town). Fast forward to the 21st century and we observe Prague striving to build a new type of bridge. As this article reveals, it is a bridge of urban transformation connecting today's city to a smart city future.

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Smart City Portrait: Zaragoza

By Jon Glasco on Jul 1, 2018 7:56:20 PM

Zaragoza: Pioneering a Citizen-Centric Smart City Vision

Fifteen years ago, Zaragoza - the historic Spanish city situated between Madrid and Barcelona - pioneered a vision of a future digital district and knowledge-based society. Since then, the city has developed an impressive portfolio of smart city projects and new urban services. According to Daniel Sarasa, Urban Innovation Planner in Zaragoza and internationally recognized smart city innovator, one of Zaragoza's unique strengths is its culture of citizen involvement and participation. This culture has its roots in the reawakening of democracy. In the late 1970s, the city of Zaragoza (like other cities in Spain) looked back on thirty five years of dictatorship – and looked ahead to an uncertain future. During the years of dictatorship, Zaragoza had grown in population from approximately 235,000 to more than 500,000, but the civic infrastructure and public services needed to support this urban growth were inhibited by an autocratic national government which maintained severe austerity measures.

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