Earlier this month the Smart City Council awarded the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge Grant to Orlando, Miami, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Austin. The five winners are now getting ready to make good use of their grants and more information about their plans is available.
As previously reported on Urenio Watch, the cities that won the Readiness Challenge Grants will receive a tailored Readiness Workshop during 2017 to develop a roadmap for applying smart technologies to further innovation, inclusion and investment within their cities. They will also receive supporting products and services from Council member companies and advisors including Ameresco, AT&T, CH2M, CompTIA, Dow Building and Construction, IDC, Qualcomm, Sensus, Telit, TM Forum and Transdev.
More on how the five cities are preparing to make use of the Grants:
- Austin intends to use its smart city initiative to promote social cohesion, by targeting underserved communities which do not usually benefit from government services. The initial intention was to use smart city programs for the city airport and shopping districts, but the city decided that other areas had greater need of smart city solutions. Smart city technologies will be implemented with the assistance of the private sector, in order to provide solutions in the field of housing, transportation and healthcare. Austin is waiting for the Readiness Workshop, scheduled for April.
- Indianapolis‘ smart city initiative is a relatively new one, and the grant is viewed as a good opportunity for the city to show its potential. Indianapolis and its smart city partners were “pleasantly surprised’ by the award. The city has several plans, the most ambitious of which is the redevelopment of “16 Tech’, a plot of land that is adjacent to Indiana University-Purdue University campus and close to the city center. This ground will be designed from scratch to be used a test bed for smart city technologies and global innovation hub. 16 Tech will test various types of smart city infrastructure, perhaps even including an electric car-sharing program.
- Miami was awarded the grant due to its intention to use smart technologies to warn citizens about hazardous weather conditions. The city also won the 100 Resilient Cities grant, which it is hoping to use in conjunction with the readiness grant to mitigate the effects of climate change and provide services to low-income residents through the use of smart technologies. Miami is planning to use 3-D modeling and smart sensors installed on the sea walls and further out at sea in order to monitor the phenomenon known as king tides – high spring tides that arrive in conjunction with a full moon. This information will be used to warn the residents of affected neighborhoods about incoming king tides, to decide when hurricane evacuations are needed, to help planners and business owners make real estate decisions, or even to attract tourists, such as surfers, who are interested in king tides.
- Orlando, which is famous for its theme parks, was awarded the grant for its commitment to use smart city technologies to enhance the experience of tourists, as well as its residents. Orlando is still developing a comprehensive road map that will determine the specific technologies and networks to be used, in cooperation with a number of local partners and with the help of the workshop, mentoring and support services that will be provided by the Readiness Grant. In any case, the goal will be to enhance livability, workability, sustainability and resilience as well as to improve public safety through the use of data-driven analytics and predictive analysis. Smart city technologies will be used to provide information on transit systems, parking places and charging stations for electrical vehicles.
- Philadelphia, the largest of the top 10 cities applying for the grants, already has a smart city initiative underway for the last year. The city was already preparing a request for industry leaders to contribute to its smart city initiative when the news came that it had won the grant. As one of the oldest American cities and the one with the fifth highest population density in the US, there are many ways that Philadelphia can benefit from smart city solutions. Philadelphia’ s smart city initiatives include an automatic water meter monitoring system which is expected to save time and improve efficiency, an air-monitoring system which will study the correlation between pollution and asthma, an Internet of Things bicycle sharing initiative, and an infrared light system for public recreation spaces that can let residents know if some parks are overcrowded or underused.
The original detailed update on the plans of the five winners can be found on 21st Century State & Local.