The Internet Society NY Chapter recently had the opportunity to speak at a United Nations session about Smart and Sustainable Cities:  Changing the World –Innovations and Better life for Future Generations on World Cities Day, October 31st, 2019.



United Nations Smart and Sustainable Cities session and panelists




Stuart Reid, ISOC-NY Board Member and Secretary, spoke at the United Nations ITU session about ISOC’s mission to bring the Internet to everyone, including a fascinating summary of the work that Digital Divide Partners (DDP) is doing to provide FREE Internet service to public housing residents in New York City, which alone has a population of over 400,000.  The DDP’s Smart Community Initiative includes providing tools to take advantage of the free access, like community-based studios to create radio and video content, remote sensors and video monitoring services of public spaces, and other resident apps to improve public safety.




ISOC-NY Chapter President Greg Shatan at Grant Houses Community Radio ( roundtable livestream


Reid reminded the conference participants that Smart Cities begin with Smart Communities and neighborhoods, which are the building blocks of our urban landscape.  He also spoke about the economic inequities in income and municipal funding that, when combined with paternalistic corporate and governmental initiatives, work to exacerbate the digital divide in the nation’s largest and most sophisticated city where it is estimated that 50% of public housing resident do not have Internet access at home.

Take a look at the entire U.N. Smart Cities session discussion: