Smart City Coordinator
City of Seattle
As one of America’s 10 most densely populated cities, and growing in congestion, Seattle has separate smart city projects being simultaneously devised by multiple departments like transportation, fire, public utilities. The left hand of the city’s IT management needed to know what the right hand was doing.
Seattle decided to take a holistic approach and create a position to coordinate technology innovations. For the city’s IT purposes, Kate Garman was hired to connect the dots among agencies as they implement smart city projects, partnerships, systems, and platforms.
For example, Kate’s currently running an analysis of the Seattle RainWatch program, a real-time weather system, as well as the city’s open data initiative in partnership with the University of Washington.
Seattle now offers citizens a number of proprietary apps, ranging from displaying live traffic pictures to processing parking payments. Next step will be to figure out how to make those offerings available to residents who are off the grid. Policy issues like poll regulations and operational issues like the city’s procurement process are on Kate’s to-do list as well.
Kate’s Insight for the Future
“Small cells” (low-powered cellular radio spectrum, which can be used to increase mobile coverage in highly localized areas), will become a part of public policy discussion in the future as cities create infrastructure to incorporate the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, public wi-fi, etc.
Joined city of Seattle in July, after serving as information analyst with Kansas City, MO. Started career at Black & Veatch in 2010, working in licensing and registrations and as a government affairs specialist.
Grew up in Kansas City, KS, where she played sports and was president of her high school debate team. Majored in journalism at the University of Kansas (’07), then got law degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City (’16) where she was editor-in-chief of the law journal. Loves hiking, especially in the hills.
Fear of birds, doesn’t eat fruit or seafood, is a stand-up comic.