Smart cities are safe cities that use connected tech like camera networks and shot detection tools to fight crime and contribute to the overall quality of life. Among Schenectady, N.Y.’s smart city projects are a Wi-Fi data network that lets police download dashcam video from cars to the central network as they go about their patrols.
Universal connectivity is also at the heart of most smart city blueprints, like that of Louisville, Ky., which plans a 115-mile fiber deployment, boosted by its selection as a Smart Cities Readiness Challenge grant winner.
As host to the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas is considered a hotbed of tech innovation, especially when it comes to transportation. The Las Vegas Innovation District is now home to a data-gathering connected corridor and an autonomous shuttle to service nearby casinos. New Orleans envisions on-demand minibuses for low cost connections to underserved communities, while Boston proposes “radically programmable” streets that can transform from loading zones to through streets to street hockey lots according to demand.
Intelligent streetlights are propagating across U.S. communities large and small, offering energy savings as well as data-gathering opportunities. In San Diego, $30 million will pay for 3,200 sensor-laden streetlights that will feed data into the city’s open data network.
Running through seemingly all smart city plans is a desire to ensure all citizens can participate fully in the benefits of their connected community. While providing Internet access to the wider community, cities are also working to ensure that Internet infrastructure can withstand disasters. Organizations like New York City’s Digital Equity Laboratory — spurred by the extensive communications damage from Hurricane Sandy — are helping to develop stronger networks. Wi-Fi projects in six parts of the city are strengthening networks that support residents and first responders during crises.