CityAge PhiladelphiaThe CityAge Conference is headed to Philadelphia this week, November 13-14, and for those of us who work in the municipal space, it’s a must-attend event designed to strengthen new business ideas in business, government and society.

We’re presenting on the concepts behind PublicWay, a web-based tool we developed that facilitates the collaboration and management of Big Data in ways that the traditional enterprise management systems and consumer applications don’t. Municipalities provide myriad services: water, wastewater, roads, utilities. The needs of citizens are complex and managing those needs and the many projects taking place concurrently is a huge task. In fact, most municipalities tend to manage these critical services in silos instead of in a collaborative, real-time fashion.

That’s where PublicWay comes in.

One example we’ll talk about is how the City of Kansas City, Mo., uses PublicWay as a conflict resolution portal, helping make the flow of communication between city departments more efficient. This breaking down of communication silos results in maintenance work being more efficient and effective, as well as more-cost effective. This is just one example of the applications for PublicWay and the beginning of a conversation about how Big Data can be harnessed to save money and manpower while delivering better, safer services for citizens.

We’ll also cover applications for multiple municipalities for concurrent use of the PublicWay public works management tool. This allows for the identification of correlations, shortens learning curves and reduces conflicts – all of which save time and money. This means fewer headaches for government entities, contractors and citizens – everybody wins.

I’m looking forward to CityAge because it’ll be a great learning and networking experience for me and for my team overall. I’m also looking forward to sharing more about PublicWay and demonstrating how harnessing Big Data and reducing silos of data within municipalities is the path of the future for cities the world over. My job, and the job of our team overall, is developing tools and solutions that support the engineering solutions we deliver for clients. This is one that we’re really excited about and are looking forward to sharing with the CityAge audience.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James is speaking as well. His panel discussion with Kyle Kimball, president of the New York City Economic Development Council, Henk Ovink, senior adviser to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, and Karen Dougherty Buccholz, vice president of administration for Comcast, kicks off the conference. “The New American City: Toward America’s 21st-Century Economy” will be a discussion focused on the urban revival that’s underway across the country. It’ll cover trends, opportunities created and challenges cities face, as well as the current state of the American City. It’s sure to be a great start to the event.

Photo Credit: Tony Fischer Photography via Compfight cc


Jamie Katz is a 10 year veteran of Burns & McDonnell, with expertise in information management, GIS, and planning technology used to manage civil engineering projects. Jamie is obsessive about innovation and converting data into knowledge, and he co-developed Burns & McDonnell’s project management platforms OneTouchPM and PublicWay.


Jamie Katz is a senior consultant for geospatial technologies at 1898 & Co., part of Burns & McDonnell. He has more than 20 years of experience in technical solutions. He specializes in providing spatial-based information management, project management and engineering deliverables, using remotely sensed information, spatial analysis and theoretical process-oriented studies. Jamie has a bachelor's degree in geography and a Master of Science in engineering management from the University of Kansas.