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Inside the Regional Innovation Approach in Phoenix

In a 2-part series, GovTech explores how The Connective pioneers a collaborative model for regional advancement in technology, infrastructure, economic growth, and quality of life for residents and businesses of Greater Phoenix. In this model, public, private, and community partners unite to build a smarter future for our region. Learn how this innovative approach reshapes the landscape of smart cities and regions.


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The Connective officially launched in 2019, fostering collaboration among public, private, and community partners to address smart city challenges that transcend city borders. The consortium's clear focus is on enhancing the quality of life for every citizen by leveraging technology and collaboration. It brings together key stakeholders, including cities, private-sector industry specialists, and educational institutions like Arizona State University and Maricopa Community Colleges.


One unique aspect of The Connective's approach is its emphasis on community problems as the central focus. Rather than pushing specific products or solutions, the consortium aims to find technological answers to the challenges faced by local residents.


Regular workshops on emerging technologies, such as digital twins and artificial intelligence, provide a platform for knowledge sharing and discussion among members. The Connective's participation in the National Smart Coalitions Partnership allows it to learn from and collaborate with similar consortiums across the nation, amplifying its impact.



Workshops play a crucial role in The Connective's mission, helping demystify complex concepts like digital twins and AI for city leaders. By blending technical expertise with elected officials' perspectives, these workshops enable cities to explore innovative solutions to their unique challenges.


But The Connective's collaborative efforts extend beyond workshops. Member cities are actively piloting technology solutions, like recycling initiatives and equitable public access to chilled drinking water stations. These projects, born from collaboration, have the potential to scale regionally and benefit neighboring cities.


Additionally, The Connective's involvement in smart city master planning and its partnership with the ASU Smart City Cloud Innovation Center emphasize the importance of civic engagement and diverse voices in decision-making.


Program Manager Ben Williams sums up The Connective's purpose: facilitating the exchange of concepts and solutions between cities. By working together, these municipalities are pioneering a brighter, more advanced future for the entire Greater Phoenix region.

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