Bowman helping Phoenix become a top tech-driven “smart region.”

ASU’s Center for Law, Science and Innovation is playing a leading role in Greater Phoenix’s push to become a top tech-driven “smart region.” Renowned for being nimble and keeping pace with rapid science and technology developments, the center, part of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, is helping to address extraordinary legal and regulatory questions that accompany innovation. Those challenges are exemplified as regional leaders embrace the promise of smart technology.

Co-founded by ASU, a recently launched smart-region initiative called The Connective is bringing onboard Mastercard to provide timely economic data that helps inform budget decisions and policymaking. Sustainability scholar Diana Bowman is ASU’s lead on The Connective and one of five members of the public-private partnership’s Leadership Council. She said the partnership is providing local governments with resources they otherwise wouldn’t have, including Mastercard’s nearly real-time sales data.

The Connective is a collaboration of ASU, the Maricopa Association of Governments, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Institute for Digital Progress and the Partnership for Economic Innovation. Although the work is inherently multifaceted and complex, The Connective’s overarching goal is simple: to work together in implementing technology to improve the quality of life for people living and working in the Greater Phoenix region.

The Connective is part of Mastercard’s City Possible initiative that is also designed to foster collaboration in advancing urban development. In April, Mastercard entered into an agreement with The Connective, which sits under the Partnership for Economic Innovation’s umbrella, to provide free access to weekly spending data through its Mastercard Retail Location Insights portal.