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Conference on "Smart Cities" at the DFG North America Office

(11/15/19) The rapid growth of cities and the resulting problems, climate change, and the increasing threat to urban infrastructure due to extreme weather conditions -- the challenges facing city planners and decision-makers are huge. They met with experts at the Smart Cities Week conference in Washington, DC from September 30 to October 2 to discuss innovative solutions. The participants included scientists from Germany. With the support of the DFG North America Office, the Baden-Württemberg-International Agency was able to attract several researchers from Baden-Württemberg's universities for a networking event on the day of German unification, sponsored by the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, in the Washington, DC office of the DFG North America.

l - r.: D. Medearis, D. Neumann, J. Khazaei, S. Ottenburger, R. Kasprik und R. Dillon-Merrill

l - r: D. Medearis, D. Neumann, J. Khazaei, S. Ottenburger, R. Kasprik und R. Dillon-Merrill

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With Dr. Dale Medearis, a Northern Virginia Regional Commission city planner who is very familiar with Germany, moderating, several Smart Cities Week themes were tackled on October 3 at the Smart Cities Breakfast Conference. Prof. Dr. Dirk Neumann (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) explored to what extent the business model of car-sharing can improve profitability through data analysis, in order to contribute to the solution of mobility problems in big cities. In their lectures, Prof. Dr. Javad Khazaei (Pennsylvania State University) and Dr. Sadeeb Ottenburger (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) discussed various aspects of smart grids and their resilience. The lecture by Prof. Dr. Rainald Kasprik from Heilbronn University focused on risk assessment for terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure. Finally, Robin Merrill-Dillon -- formerly program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), now a professor at Georgetown University -- outlined key thematic areas within the NSF's Smart and Connected Communities program. She called on the scientists present to involve the affected communities in their search for solutions as early as possible.