To provide your own take on the Sunday Plenary Session, please either comment below or send your notes and/or multimedia to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following notes were contributed by Sharon M. Partridge of the Jefferson County Public Library in Lakewood CO.
All interpretations of documents and comments made are my own and do not reflect on my institution. These were typed on the day noted and subsequent days may have changed things. All mistakes are mine and feel free to post corrections.
The mayor of Rio Rancho gave a stunning presentation on his city, founded in 1981 from a collection of Intel employees in the northwestern outskirts of Albuquerque. It currently has a population of 65,000 with growth at 5% per annum. The population is high tech. It was created with the infrastructure to be a completely wired (underground) and WiFi. The city government focuses on only three primary needs: creating jobs, excellent education and public safety.
Their crime rate is lower than every other town in NM except Alamogordo, which has unique security available. The first school building, a high school, was build and designed by the Intel Corp. to be completely wired. (The city had no money.) Every subsequent school has been the same, completely wired. The current size of the city is 103 square miles but they have the capacity to reach 400 square miles. Albuquerque, because of political and geographic limitations, will not be able to exceed 183 square miles. The city makes a promise to any business it wants, to build the building it needs and have everything they need to begin running the business within 90 days. They have kept this promise at least ten times. They were able to annex an area (at its request) in three months. They do screen businesses for environmental impact including water usage.
Rather than trying to build for higher education, they built an education center that makes it possible for any of their citizens to earn an online degree from any college or university offering such a degree. When housing developments or business move in, they donate infrastructure. Developments too small to create a park, contribute to the fund to build a park that would service their development. The original ISP paid for the light poles that also held their antennas and they agreed to provide the city free service for the right to build the infrastructure on city land. When the original company moved out, they negotiated with a new provider for the right to sell service to the citizens. It’s like a cable contract but doesn’t restrict the citizens to only using that single ISP. By May 15th, the entire city will have WiFi and a person with a laptop and a personal account would be able to stay on the internet for a cab ride throughout the city. People without an account can use the free service available at the library (part of the government free access.) The city council minutes and other documents are available on the city website. House prices range from $110,000-200,000. We were all invited to move in.
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