An interview with PENNONI’S INNOVATION EXPERTS Joseph Viscuso, PE, PLS, ENV SP, serves as Director of Strategic Growth which includes involvement in all new initiatives and technologies. Joe is active in the Smart City Council and is a member of the Urban Mobility Task Force. He has spoken at various industry events on the use of innovative smart solutions. Markus Weidner serves as Chief Innovation Officer. His role focuses on bringing the spirit of innovation to operational systems and processes, creative direction in the modification and modernization of existing services, and inventiveness in the creation of new solutions and service lines. How is innovation changing the way we’re selling our services? How has our partnership with Smart Cities Council changed since we became an Associate Partner? The traditional services that firms like Pennoni offer will always be needed. The delivery of these services has changed in that software and technological advancements have given us better ways to arrive at our solutions for our clients. We want to be more than just members of an organization that we support. We have engaged with the Smart Cities Council in each of their readiness workshops on presenting “case studies” to show cities and regions how smart solutions are being deployed in other parts of the country. Our services – once purely design – can and must be part of a more complete ‘solution’ offering. That is to say, we must resist looking at design problems in isolation, and instead contextualize what we do with broader agendas that improve the profitability, operations, quality, of the organization with whom we are working. The Council affords us an opportunity to improve visibility with communities that highly value technology and integrated solutions. Ultimately, we seek to improve the quality of life for ourselves and our friends and neighbors. The goals of the Smart Cities Council align identically with our goals. Why is it important to partner with companies like Momentum Dynamics, Roadbotics, Sustainable Water, etc.? Most of the US cities surveyed are “beginner” or “transitioning” in Traffic Management Maturity. Beginner cities can save 5.2 per capita hours in traffic by implementing Smart Traffic Signals. How can we educate our municipal clients about the benefits of adaptive traffic signals? Companies such as these are developing solutions using Artificial Intelligence and innovative technological enhancements. It is our responsibility at Pennoni to identify what we refer to as “channel partners” and to understand how our clients can benefit from solutions employing these types of innovative techniques. These companies all demonstrate the power of focus. By remaining small and distraction free, they each found ways to innovate and bring new products to market. Pennoni, as a generalist, understands how to place such groundbreaking technology into context, which makes these solutions useful in everyday life. 6 | PENNONI Traffic signals and systems will continue to get smarter. Cities that invest in the latest technologies can demonstrate proven results in economic development. Reduced travel times increase worker productivity for businesses, reduce emissions, and improve overall quality of life. We need to continue to reach out and educate officials at all levels of government to help them as we contemplate a new shared vision for high value mobility in the modern era. Intelligent Transportation System technology like adaptive signals is one solution that transportation and infrastructure officials should consider as they assemble their modern master plans.