US DOT Shares 3 Pillars For Establishing Smart Cities and Communities

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released the Putting People First – Smart Cities and Communities report, covering the benefits, goals, challenges, and success factors associated with smart cities and communities (SC&C). SC&C technologies include user-focused mobility services; connected, automated, and electric vehicles; intelligent, sensor-based infrastructure; new urban delivery methods; smart payment systems; and advanced analytics.

The report outlines the three pillars for establishing an SC&C:

  • networks of sensors to gather and integrate data that can be used for various applications and citizen services;
  • connectivity that enables city officials to interact directly with the community and to monitor and manage city infrastructure; and,
  • an open data philosophy. SC&Cs should routinely share operations and planning data with the public.

USDOT conducted a survey of 52 cities across the country on their use of SC&C technologies. The most common SC&C activities reported were: traffic management: 69%; data management: 63%; public transportation: 63%; and automation or connectivity for vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians: 63%. The most frequently identified challenges included: funding: 62%; lack of standards: 38%; coordination across city departments: 37%; lack of mature technology: 32%; and lack of cybersecurity: 32%.

USDOT has plans to support a series of webinars and listening sessions on SC&Cs over the next year. These webinars will provide a platform to share best practices and lessons learned, with the goal of creating a sustainable coalition of communities that can support further implementation of effective SC&C initiatives.

To download the full report, visit