The Smart Cities Council has selected Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.; Birmingham, Ala.; Cary, N.C.; Las Vegas and the state of Virginia to participate in the 2018 Smart Cities Readiness Challenge Grant. Each will receive a year of mentoring along with workshop support tailored to each community’s needs.
“The five winners had three important things in common,” Smart Cities Council chairman Jesse Berst said. “…uncovering synergies and cost-efficiencies between departments. They also fostered coordinated collaboration between internal departments, external stakeholders and nearby regions.” Berst added, “Finally, they exhibited a determination to include under-served and vulnerable populations.”
The Smart Cities Council also announced that they are expanding this year’s program to offer early support to Puerto Rico, which was ravaged by a devastating hurricane last year. The Council will help Puerto Rico develop a readiness roadmap, starting with a readiness workshop in San Juan in March.
Louisville/Jefferson County plans to install 115 miles of new fiber optic cables to assist in the establishment of smart city projects throughout the region. Digital inclusion will also a priority.
The city of Birmingham will use the Readiness Roadmap prepared by the Council to provide a framework for the many projects it has underway, including an open data portal, smart street lighting, community Wi-Fi, bus rapid transit, and a violence reduction initiative that uses data to spot problems early.
Cary plans to further advance several of its projects, including “One Cary.” This initiative seeks to gain a 360-degree of the city and its citizens by creating a single core platform to promote data sharing between departments and with citizens.
Las Vegas will make its infrastructure smarter, towards its goal of becoming a fully connected smart city by 2025.
Virginia will use its the Challenge assistance to build a framework for its multiple initiatives, including expanding broadband throughout the state; adopting interoperability standards; setting out a cybersecurity and privacy plan; and creating sustainable funding for smart projects.