Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria last September, the worst natural disaster ever recorded in the island. The damage was considerable, and, as Puerto Rico recovers, it partnered with the Smart Cities Council in order to rebuild its infrastructure with the inclusion of several cutting-edge technologies.
The Smart Cities Council provides resources for cities to develop emerging technologies and become smarter. Finalists for the current grant include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Aurora, Illinois; Birmingham, Alabama; Cary, North Carolina; Fairfax County, Virginia; the City of Los Angeles; the City of Las Vegas; Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky; and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The partnership with Puerto Rico was announced in the context of the council’ s Readiness Challenge, which offers workshops, digital tools and contributed resources from the IT industry for smart city growth. The grant program was awarded to Puerto Rico in order to help the territory rebuild from the hurricane. The idea is to make the most out of the terrible disaster, not just rebuilding and replacing what was lost but to rebuild infrastructure in an improved manner, implementing solutions that use the Internet of Things, renewable energy, connected vehicles and other smart technologies.
The grant is expected to enhance the recovery and rebuilding process that is already underway, with a single program incorporating sustainable development. It will have an impact on Puerto Rico’ s government, environment and liveability. It will entitle Puerto Rico to a year of expert mentoring and free products and services from major companies that already partner with the council. The process will begin with a workshop in the territory capital of San Juan this March, that will produce the smart city roadmap to be followed.
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