Although smart cities and communities are largely tailor-fit depending on a city’s specific needs and population, the federal government has a role to play in creating a model policy on which locales can base their plans. While Austin, Texas, may focus more on connected mobility, Miami may direct its attention toward creating data mapping and a network of sensors to detect possible flood-prone areas. Both examples fall under the purview of what it means to be a smart city.
In trying to build that model policy, the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) has put out a call asking for public input regarding their report, Smart Cities and Communities Federal Strategic Plan: Exploring Innovation Together. The NITRD’s members include representatives from numerous federal agencies, including the departments of commerce, defense, energy and several others.
The goal of the plan, which is just the first step in developing the federal strategy, is to accelerate the development and implementation of new smart city discoveries that enable cities and communities to achieve local goals and address their most important challenges. Those breakthroughs will also be chronicled for other cities to follow the model. By creating a unified report about how and where to lay Internet-connected sensors or create ideal local policy on connected infrastructure, the final plan could rapidly increase the rate at which smart city projects are completed.
The central goals of the report include:
accelerating smart city/community infrastructure development; creating an international model for smart city development; facilitating cross-sector collaboration and bridging existing silos; focusing on people-centered solutions that support job growth and economic competitiveness; and understanding local needs and goals. The deadline for comments that will be used to refine the draft Strategic Plan (PDF) to better meet the needs of counties and facilitate progress by stakeholders in industry and academia is Feb. 28, 2017. All submissions may be made publicly available on the NITRD website.