April 19, 2017
The Blackwell Hotel

Columbus Dispatch Article

The term Smart Cities has become a familiar term in Columbus after its success in winning the US DOT Smart Cities Challenge in 2016. While Columbus’ proposal was centered around the idea of smart transportation, the global smart cities movement sees transportation as only one aspect of a broader effort of cities to develop an integrated approach to improving efficiency of city operations, improving the quality of life of its residents, and growing local economy.

The purpose of our 2017 Real Estate Conference was twofold – provide meaningful and up-to-date information about the progress of Columbus toward completing the projects detailed in its grant application; and provide a more global vision of what Smart Cities encompass, what other cities are doing, and the connection to real estate industry and business in general.


CRE- Correa headshotDan Correa
Former Assistant Director for Innovation Policy
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Dan Correa is the former Assistant Director for Innovation Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Barack Obama. His portfolio spanned topics from government innovation to entrepreneurship policies. He led the White House Smart Cities Initiative, launched in fall of 2015, and crafted the President's 2015 Strategy for American Innovation, which provided a blueprint for the Administration's efforts to promote lasting economic growth and competitiveness through innovation. Mr. Correa spoke about the global smart cities movement and how other cities are using technology and data to improve the quality of life for their residents.


Other sessions

  • Smart Columbus

    The Smart Columbus panel provided an overview of the progress the city of Columbus and its partners have made in accomplishing the various projects and initiatives outlined in its original proposal to the US Department of Transportation. Representatives from the city, The Ohio State University and Columbus Partnership discussed the steps taken and the future impact of these efforts.

    CRE - Fischer headshotAlex Fisher
    CEO and President
    Columbus Partnership



    CRE - Pinkerton headshotJoanna Pinkerton
    Honda/OSU Partnership
    The Ohio State University



    CRE - Stevens headshotMichael Stevens
    Chief Innovation Officer
    City of Columbus

  • Grid of the Future

    CRE - Houk headshotRyan Houk
    Director - Smart City Program

    With the advent of electric vehicles and the potentially dramatic increase in need for electric charging stations, the future of our electric grid has to be reimagined. Mr. Houk discussed the current efforts and future plans for reimagined electric grid for our homes, business and public spaces. Mr. Houk is the Director of Smart City Program Management for AEP Ohio, which serves approximately 1.5 million customers in Ohio.  Ryan brings over a decade of utility industry experience, holding leadership positions ranging from business process improvement to strategic investment analysis and valuation.  In his current role, Ryan is responsible for the overall management, coordination and execution of Smart City initiatives within AEP Ohio.

The conference is an invitation-only event designed to bring together leaders from all domains of the real estate industry to engage in thought provoking conversations about the state and the future of the real estate industry.

If you would like additional information about the conference, please contact Jana Hrdinova at hrdinova.1@osu.edu