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Peachtree Corners and its Atlanta Tech Park leading smart city developments

Online site Politico recently spotlighted Peachtree Corners, a small city in the northern suburbs of Atlanta that’s making a name for itself as one of the nation’s top testing grounds for shiny new smart city technology.

The 45,000-person city is home to an unusual public innovation experiment. Peachtree Corners’ Chief Technology Officer, who also happens to be the Assistant City Manager, runs an incubator called Curiosity Lab, which invites private firms to test their prototypes in a 500-acre public space called Atlanta Tech Park. The city, in theory, benefits from the new ideas and can even adopt them.

Perhaps the biggest lesson for community leaders seeking to build tech-based ecosystems is the original intent for creating the park. According to the Politico article, Technology Park dates from the late 1960s, when it was established with the goal of keeping Georgia Tech graduates in Georgia by giving them stable jobs in high-tech industries. Today, more than 2,000 businesses, primarily engineering, healthtech and information technology firms, have a presence in or around Technology Park.

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