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US announces $160million Smart Cities initiative

Helping communities tackle key challenges and improve delivery of city services.

New York skyscrapers

The US government has announced a new “Smart Cities” initiative to help communities tackle key challenges and improve city services. 

The Smart Cities initiative that will invest over $160 million in federal research, and leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations. The initiative aims to help local communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services.

The initiative will include nearly $70 million in new spending and over $45 million in proposed investments to unlock new solutions in safety, energy, climate preparedness, transportation, health and more, by the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Every community is different, with different needs and different approaches.  But communities that are making the most progress on these issues have some things in common.  They don’t look for a single silver bullet; instead they bring together local government and nonprofits and businesses and teachers and parents around a shared goal.” – President Barack Obama

The Smart Cities Initiative will focus on key strategies:

  • Creating test beds for “Internet of Things” applications and developing new multi-sector collaborative models
  • Collaborating with the civic technology movement and forging intercity collaborations
  • Leveraging existing Federal smart city activities
  • Pursuing international collaboration

Initiatives include:

  • US$50 million development of cutting-edge emergency response technologies for Smart Cities by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • US$40 million in new funding the Department of Transportation to advance transportation for Smart Cities
  • US $10 million investment by the Department of Energy to support the emergence of smart, energy-efficient and low-emission cities
  • More than $35 million in new grants and over $10 million in proposed investments to build a research infrastructure for Smart Cities by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • More than 20 cities participating in major new multi-city collaborations that will help city leaders effectively collaborate with universities and industry.

Read the factsheet.