Data Doesn’t Move People, Stories Do.

August 25, 2016 in Notes from the Field
Alexa Seretti
Business Development & Content Marketing Lead

Much has been said over the past week about self-driving technology. Autonomous vehicles are now being tested and that testing is being done in Pittsburgh. It’s elevated the city to a new level of national and international conversation and exposure. Yes, innovation is happening here, but it’s not a new phenomenon. Uber’s choice to launch self-driving technology on our roads and bridges makes complete sense if you know Pittsburgh’s story. We actually know it well. In fact, we were asked to help tell it.

We created this 3-minute video for the Smart Cities Challenge a few months ago. When Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and his team needed to make a case for Pittsburgh to become the Connected City of the Future, they turned to MAYA. We know a little something about the connected world. We’ve been imagining organizational models for new technologies for 27 years and we’ve been doing it right here in Pittsburgh.

If It’s Not For All, It’s Not For Us

The city’s transportation initiative had a name —SmartPGH— when it came to us, but we gave it an identity. Working closely with the Mayor’s team we honed the brand message and values for this new transportation initiative. We studied the rich history of innovation in Pittsburgh, and the sometimes unintended consequences of that innovative spirit. We asked ourselves what would be different now? What we eventually created — this time —if it’s not for all, it’s not for us. That’s when SmartPGH was born. From that notion, we developed a bold logo, a compelling written application, a website, and the video.

We took the technical aspects of building a smart city and connected them to the people who would benefit from better transit and infrastructure. Residents get it. They understand its significance. They talk about it and share it. The video is just one aspect of the campaign, but it captures the essence of our work. If you watch it, you’ll learn about the transportation technology being developed here. More significantly though, you’ll understand Pittsburgh. If you live here, you’ll appreciate it. If you’ve moved away, you’ll long for it. If you’ve never been here, you’ll wonder why.

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