Five cities--Austin, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania--won the Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Grant program. More than 130 cities were involved in the application process. The winning cities 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.
Breaking down the departmental silos is a key challenge in developing a smarter city, and each of the winning cities has demonstrated the ability to work across departments to solve problems, according to the Smart Cities Council.
Austin will use its Readiness Workshop to develop strategies to invite underserved populations to participate in designing solutions for their mobility needs as well as affordable housing and economic development. The city is concentrating its efforts on reaching people who could benefit from a government that's more responsive to their needs, but rarely take part in traditional forms of civic engagement.
Indianapolis and Marion County will strengthen emerging initiatives in smart utilities and transportation. Indianapolis formed a working group of ecosystem partners to assess smart city capabilities and guide a long-term vision that integrates with the city's future planning. Marion County recently approved development of the first electric bus rapid transit system in the country and is also moving forward with a comprehensive Internet of things hub that will pioneer citywide digital infrastructure.