There is no denying the increased potential of efficient, smart cities through the collaborative efforts of municipal governments, citizens, universities, and innovative businesses. Just last year, President Barack Obama’s Administration announced a new Smart Cities Initiative to invest over $160 million in research, at home and abroad, to help cities tackle key challenges in sustainability and efficiency.

This year, Harvard’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center brought together a diverse group of academics, entrepreneurs, and leading companies, including our friends at Telefónica, Angel Ventures, Citi, and Yahoo! to discuss opportunities and challenges in the creation of digital prosperity across Latin American cities.

The two day Strategic Innovation Symposium: Digital Life in Latin American Cities, held in Miami, focused on embracing technology, initiatives to enhance confidence in digital infrastructure, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Key learnings from the symposium were gathered into the white paper, Digital Life in Latin American Cities to inform global policy decisions that support local economies and community initiatives.

One of those key takeaways was that location intelligence is a strategic component to a cities success. For successful approaches such as, Mexico City, Medellín, and Buenos Aires, location solutions like CARTO, have helped solve challenges, embrace opportunities, and create a better society through technology.

As Community Development Strategist at CARTO, and a contributing author to the Digital Life in Latin American Cities white paper, it is evident that enabling governments, businesses, and citizens to use open data, regardless of individual levels of technical expertise, is a critical step in applying data visualizations for important decision making. Cities depend on spatial data visualizations and analysis as a mechanism to demonstrate transparency, ensure accountability, and increase livability.

CARTO represents the massive potential to turn diverse and complex data into actionable insights, while empowering all city stakeholders to make better decisions and create value in all the key sectors that help operate and sustain today’s cities.

Now is the time to engage industry and government leaders to drive policies that will present solutions to challenges in order to create digital prosperity for global cities. We are very proud to have taken part in the symposium and we look forward to further collaboration with innovative thinkers and doers in the future.

Happy data mapping!