US cities applying Smart City solutions, such as Seattle and Portland are making progress in finding their own solutions towards the infrastructure challenges they face instead of going through the slow process of waiting for the federal government to provide funds and design policies. This is a case of urban planners thinking globally and acting locally, and cities acting more autonomously and taking steps to provide their own solutions to their own challenges.
Seattle is already taking part in several Smart City initiatives, including a nationwide Smart City Consortium, an early warning system for storms and downpours, a sensor system monitoring air quality, noise and traffic, and a depository on open data for a wide range of subjects, from city statistics, to building permits and traffic. To address cybersecurity and privacy concerns about big data, which may get bigger with the move towards 5G data networks, Seattle is planning an open Smart City forum for citizens which will be held in fall 2017, and the city is also planning to hire a Smart City coordinator to help with the efficient management of Smart City services and initiatives.
Portland is taking similar initiatives to solve its own challenges, in the field of transportation. It is one of the leading cities in the field of green transportation. The Portland city council approved a broad strategy to boost electric cars and bikes a few month ago. It is already putting into action a comprehensive plan consisting of 49 action items, such as establishing “electric first’ guidelines for city fleet purchases, prioritizing charging infrastructure in public locations and making “Electric Vehicle-ready provisions’ in the city’s green building policy for affordable housing. Now, Portland’ s municipal authorities are taking further steps towards electrifying the city’ s transportation system as a part of improving the air quality of the city and moving towards the global goal of climate stabilization.
The original article can be found at GeekWire.