In Creative Village and the Metaverse, Mayor Buddy Dyer touts Downtown Orlando

In Creative Village and the Metaverse, Mayor Buddy Dyer touts Downtown Orlando

From the real world and the virtual metaverse, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has called on tech companies and employees to plant their roots in the city which he says is poised to become the nation’s “MetaCenter” .

The virtual space, which tech developers say could play a vital role in a futuristic economy, combines technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence – all of which are being actively developed in the region, said said the mayor during his annual report on the state of downtown. speech.

“The metaverse will be for the next three decades what the Internet has been for the previous three decades,” Dyer told an audience of business, government and education leaders from across the region. “Consider this your personal invitation from the mayor of Orlando. We want you to share what we’re building here in the metaverse.

Dyer has spoken Wednesday at Luminary Green, the 2.3-acre park that opened in August in the middle of the Creative Village. The park is surrounded by apartments, the downtown campus of UCF and Valencia College, and the new state-of-the-art Electronic Arts studio. The annual speech is a fundraiser for the Downtown Orlando Partnership.

As the mayor addressed the physical audience, a Dyer’s digitized avatar was projected onto the screen at EA HQ and 10 select viewers in the metaverse who also got to see it. He called it the mayor’s first speech in the virtual world.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer stands in front of his metaverse avatar on the side of the Electronic Arts Building after delivering his annual State of Downtown Address at the newly opened Luminary Green Park in the Creative District Village in downtown Orlando, Florida on Wednesday.  December 7, 2022.

In his speech, the mayor said there were approximately 2,500 high-tech jobs open in the area.

“If you think about it, all the different components of the metaverse, other than cryptocurrency, we have them here in Orlando,” Dyer told reporters after the speech. “We have the talent, we have the companies here…the MetaCenter, I would say, in a few years could be what California created Silicon Valley.”

A case in point is an approximately 800 square mile “digital twin” of the Orlando Metro, which can be used for everything from city planning to video games. It was unveiled, along with the city’s moniker MetaCenter, by the Orlando Economic Partnership earlier this year, which at the time was seen as a step towards the metaverse.

In the physical realm, Dyer said downtown is about to change drastically to become a neighborhood. The population has more than doubled since the early 2000s and the needs of companies and their employees have evolved.

Much of the talk focused on the DTO 2.0 project, which officials say will transform the city center block by block, remaking one-way streets for two-way traffic, building new public spaces in areas like Lake Lucerne and improving the Lymmo bus service to better serve residents and workers.

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Keeping downtown safe, a key focus of city leadership over the past year, was also highlighted.

High-profile acts of violence surrounding the city’s vibrant nightlife – including the murder of an army veteran last year and, most recently, a mass shooting in July that injured seven people and a shootout in September which injured two – prompted a review of the rules, regulations and environment.

“We don’t want to have that anymore, so we’ve been working with some of the people who own these businesses to make our city safer and more secure after midnight. There will probably be more to come,” Dyer told reporters after the speech. “If you’re trying to get people somewhere, it’s doubly important that it’s safe.”

Now revelers are seeing more police on the streets at night, walking through security checkpoints with gun-sniffing dogs and walking in brighter lighting with more camera surveillance. New regulations are in place requiring car parks and private garages to be secure and staffed when cars are parked.

Dyer said downtown Orlando is about to be “reinvented.”

“It should come as no surprise that coming out of a global pandemic, Orlando is ready for another round of reinvention,” he said.

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