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Resiliency is the New Normal: How Cities Survive Times of Crisis

Main Stage

Media Partner: Octavian Report



  • Rubicon is a software company that specializes in waste management. The company aims to completely end waste, and defines waste as both physical waste and administrative inefficiency. 
  • Michael Allegretti bemoaned the overuse of the term “smart city,” which has been rendered devoid of meaning owing to frequent co-optation for hollow marketing purposes. Allegretti emphasized that Rubicon aims to provide real, tangible solutions to the technological and infrastructural obstacles faced by today’s urban centers. To date, it has entered into over 54 public-private partnerships with cities to help their governments run more effectively and efficiently. 
  • Cities across the globe are facing major waste-related challenges because of COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders have increased residential waste to record levels. As retail tax revenue dwindles, sanitation departments are experiencing major downsizing. It is in this context that Rubicon’s technology comes to the forefront: the company gathers critical data on the city’s waste, helps outline appropriate courses of action, and helps ensure that every tax dollar is used wisely.

“When Rubicon was founded, it focused on commercial waste. We then developed RUBICONSmartCity to keep waste out of landfills and ensure tax dollars are being spent in the best way possible,” Michael Allegretti

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Allegretti urged cities to revisit their existing public procurement processes to facilitate technological innovations. 
  • For Allegretti, the resilient city must be a proactive city, anticipating issues before residents bring them up. 
  • Eliminating both physical and administrative waste requires that cities go paperless and leverage data like never before—machine learning and other artificial technology technologies can catalyze this transition. 
  • As the Sustainability Partner for the 2020 Concordia Annual Summit, Rubicon is proud to plant one tree for every Summit attendee and one additional tree for every attendee of the Environmental Sustainability & Supply Chains programming block.  Working in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Rubicon’s tree donations will contribute to reforestation projects in the company’s home state of Georgia.


Session Speakers