B.P. Brewer Travels To The Netherlands To Strengthen “Haarlem2Harlem” Cultural Ties

February 2, 2018

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer is visiting the Netherlands to deliver a keynote address at The Things Network’s Global Developer Conference in Amsterdam and strengthen tech, economic development, and cultural ties between Harlem, NY and the Dutch city of Haarlem.

“It’s an honor to speak to the developers and supporters at The Things Network’s conference, because they are literally building a better future. Governments, nonprofits, and community organizers will be able to use this technology to find and fix all kinds of problems in real time,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m also thrilled to finally visit Haarlem and join Mayor Wienen to continue building cultural, academic, and economic partnerships between our borough and this magnificent city. From our centuries-old heritage as major port cities to our bright future as rising hubs for tech jobs and innovation, we have so much in common and much to gain from each other.”

“The path to growth and success in tech is through partnerships and shared knowledge,” said Clayton Banks, co-founder of Silicon Harlem. “Just as we’ve brought entrepreneurs, funders, and stakeholders together to grow Harlem’s tech community, working with our friends in Haarlem on the other side of the Atlantic will leverage knowledge and resources that will help individual businesses and the larger tech community grow in both cities. Borough President Brewer’s work championing tech in local government and advancing this partnership with Haarlem is good news for businesses and innovators in both cities.”

Brewer’s keynote address at The Things Network will focus on the intersection of civic technology and the “internet of things” (IoT), the expanding universe of internet-enabled devices that can feed data back to central systems for analysis or integration with other services.

Brewer will speak about her efforts in the City Council and as Borough President to leverage municipal open data to benefit the public and the tech community, and her office’s newest initiative to develop uses of LoRaWAN (Long-Range Wide Area Network) IoT technology to benefit the public, in partnership with The Things Network’s New York affiliate. LoRa technology is a communications platform that allows IoT-enabled devices to feed back small packages of data with dramatic cost and security advantages over conventional WiFi and cellular networks.

In addition to her appearance at The Things Network, Brewer will visit Haarlem, the capital of North Holland, as the guest of Mayor Jos Wienen. Brewer and Mayor Wienen signed a sister-city agreement connecting Manhattan and Haarlem in May of 2017, and have been working with Silicon Harlem, Dutch startup accelerator Haarlem Valley, and Dutch consular officials on a Haarlem2Harlem “Soft Landing” program to open new growth opportunities for tech and startup companies from each city. The program would provide access to support services and accelerate partnerships for startups and tech firms in both markets.

During Brewer’s visit to Haarlem, she and Mayor Wienen will continue work on the “Soft Landing” program, which is scheduled to launch a pilot later in 2018. They will meet with startup entrepreneurs and members of Haarlem’s growing technology, business, and cultural sectors.

While in Haarlem, Brewer will also tour and meet with officials at the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem’s municipal museum, and the Teylers Museum, Haarlem’s museum of art, natural history, and science.

Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood was founded in 1658 as ‘Nieuw Haarlem,’ during New York’s period as the Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam. Haarlem, its namesake city, is the capital of North Holland in the Netherlands. In May of 2017, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Haarlem Mayor Jos Wienen signed a sister-city agreement connecting Manhattan and Haarlem.

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