Louisville Metro is among five recipients of the Smart Cities Council’s 2018 Readiness Challenge Grants, which will provide mentoring and tailored products and services to accelerate the city’s smart city initiatives.
“We’re so pleased to see the strides cities have made since we launched the Challenge last year,” said Jennifer James, Global Director of the Smart Cities Council Readiness Program™. “The entrants are knowledgeable and committed, and they have large ambitions. They are moving beyond the ‘pilot phase’ to deploy strategic, at-scale programs that will generate lasting benefits.”
Noting that Louisville has long been at the forefront of civic technology and understands that smart cities require smart infrastructure, the Council said it would help the city enhance its collaborative approach in using smart technologies to address challenges in transportation, telecommunications and public safety.
Mayor Greg Fischer said: “A world-class city has to be positioned to understand and adapt to the world around us, especially in the fast-moving realm of technology. That’s why our city’s Office for Civic Innovation has worked so diligently on projects like attracting Google Fiber and working with the app IFTTT to sync city data with smartphone apps, and smart devices, like internet-enabled light bulbs. It’s also why they’re focused on ensuring Louisville’s bright digital future is inclusive of all citizens, no matter the neighborhood they can home. This partnership with the Smart Cities Council will help us take even more big leaps into the future.
The other winning communities are Birmingham, Ala., Cary, N.C., Las Vegas, and the commonwealth of Virginia.
“The five winners had three important things in common,” said Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst, “including a focus on uncovering synergies and cost-efficiencies between departments. They also fostered coordinated collaboration between internal departments, external stakeholders, and nearby regions. Finally, they exhibited a determination to include underserved and vulnerable populations.”
The five Challenge Grant winners will receive a full year of expert, vendor-neutral mentoring, plus an on-site Readiness Workshop, custom-tailored to each community’s needs and priorities. The Council will bring in some of the world’s most experienced experts from the private, philanthropic, academic and research sectors to help advise the winners.
The Council will take the information it receives from each workshop and develop a shareable Readiness Roadmap that provides guidance for the community’s smart city program implementation. The winners will also receive free products and services worth hundreds of thousands from leading organizations and Smart Cities Council partners, including Qualcomm, Battelle, SYNEXXUS, CompTIA and IES.
All applicants will receive feedback and guidance from the Council, including the runner-up cities of Albuquerque, N.M.; Aurora, Ill.; Fairfax County, Va.; and Los Angeles. As part of this program, the Council also awarded Puerto Rico with a special humanitarian grant to help accelerate its hurricane recovery efforts.