SAN FRANCISCO – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his San Francisco counterpart, Ed Lee, said at a news conference Friday that they are sponsoring a pair of technology summits over the next year.
The mayors said the “digital cities” summits — one in New York in September and another in San Francisco early next year — will seek to find ways to use technology to solve problems the cities face.
The mayors made the announcement after touring the office of San Francisco-based mobile payment company Square with co-founder Jack Dorsey, who also helped found Twitter. Both mayors lauded Square’s ability to boost commerce in their cities.
Bloomberg pointed to power outages and dangerous winds and flooding from Hurricane Sandy as examples of issues the summits would seek to address. Lee emphasized San Francisco’s recent partnership with companies like car-sharing service Lyft to assist with transporting people in post-earthquake scenarios.
Some general areas the summit would address are immigration, office space and housing, and funding startups.
The summit would consist of about two-dozen people from technology, business, and government, though a firm list has not been developed yet. Attendees could range from other mayors to members of the education or health care sectors.
“People that are interested in advancing their economies or creating business or working together, the Jack Dorseys and the mayor — that’s the kind of person you want to have there,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg is visiting the San Francisco Bay Area and met with leaders in Silicon Valley Friday. He has been trying to boost New York City’s technology sector, which he said has grown 30 per cent since 2005 and ranks number one for job growth in mobile app companies.
Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology won a 2011 contest to start a science and engineering graduate school in New York City. The city is providing free land and up to $100 million in improvements.