Greater Washington should be great for everybody.
Greater Washington struggles with inequality. In 2017, Forbes reported that half of the top 10 richest counties in the United States are located within about an hour of the capital. Meanwhile, one of every ten children in the region lives below the poverty line. Of adults over the age of 25, one out of four has a graduate degree, but nearly one out of ten hasn’t graduated high school.
The smartest cities focus not just on commercial opportunities and process efficiencies but improving governance, citizen engagement, and addressing social maladies such as poverty and inequality. New projects must serve all sectors of society, not just younger, more affluent, able-bodied, and technologically-savvy demographics. Resources such as the Smart Cities For All Toolkit can help provide approaches to ensure widespread benefits. Greater Washington’s plethora of socially-oriented nonprofit organizations and universities can ensure this inclusivity is reached.