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Los Angeles' Chief Technology Officer Helped to Connect City on Transit and Transparency
Chief Technology Officers are playing a more vital role in adapting governments to the evolving digital technologies that are allowing for more flexibility, transparency, and localized decision-making. Peter Marx, hired in 2014 by Mayor Eric Garcetti, served as the Chief Innovative Technology Officer of Los Angeles for two years after being recruited from Qualcomm Labs. In an exclusive interview with The Planning Report, Marx described how Los Angeles is more connected and shared his vision for how the city might function with ubiquitous digital connectivity.
Marx helped spearhead the Xerox-sponsored mobility app Go LA, which allows Angelenos to see all potential transit options and decide whether they want to get to their destination faster, greener, or cheaper. The app has integrated ride share, rail, bus services, and bike lanes to help remove worries from users.
In addition, Marx helped increase data services and Wi-Fi connectivity through working with AT&T and Google Fiber. Working with Mayor Garcetti, Marx explained how they led the effort for more broadband, cellular, and unlicensed spectrum activity across the city. According to Marx, “LA Metro [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] is putting Wi-Fi and cellular service into the subway systems and on buses, and LADOT is putting Wi-Fi onto the DASH buses. We put Wi-Fi into the bus shelters.”
Updating and modernizing the zoning code has also been a priority in Los Angeles. Marx helped launch the recode.la initiative to help simplify and modernize the zoning code. As Marx describes, "Recode.la is an initiative within the Planning Department to turn the zoning code into XML. This way, homeowners in any neighborhood can easily find out everything they’re allowed to do when redoing their kitchen, changing a wall, or any other project."
Marx successfully coordinated Recode LA's efforts with other open-data initiatives, working with numerous departments to work towards publishing "an open-source, community-supported set of tools to enable anyone in any city in the world to improve and use our solutions for their own applications."
Read more in The Planning Report.