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Colorado Smart Cities Alliance Announces Revive! Winners

Six technology providers were selected as part of the challenge for solutions in areas like transportation and economic development to assist cities in the Denver region with their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six technology providers were selected to provide smart city solutions in the Revive! Challenge, organized by the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance.
Shutterstock/Rudy Balasko
Six technology providers have been selected as the winners of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance Revive! Challenge.

The competition, which came to a close July 29, was structured to have smart city technology applied to areas like transportation or economic development as communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We saw plenty of innovations in the space before COVID,” said Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, referring to transportation and economic development.

“Though, they were elevated in the priority list in response to COVID, and they were elevated across 10 governments, which is a sign that these issues united governments more generally,” he added.

Some 40 proposals were submitted, which were then evaluated across a range of government organizations, with a goal of increasing resiliency and equity. Of those 40 submissions, 11 were selected as finalists, and only six were selected for real-world deployments.

Some of the solutions to come forward include: inCitu, which uses augmented reality technology to help viewers see how development fits within the built environment, and then collects feedback. The app will be used by the city of Centennial.

And then there’s mySidewalk, technology to be used by Fort Collins and the Pueblo West Metropolitan District, which taps into housing and other related databases to better understand the community composition as leaders work to draft public policy.

Housing stability “is another topic that our member governments say is really critical right now,” said Johanna Jamison, program director with the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, during an online conference call in late April to announce the challenge.

Other winners of the challenge included SPOT Parking, which provides for the digitization of street curbs; Active Commute Solutions, to be used by the University of Colorado in Denver, which has an app that finds the best commute route; and Mastercard, which will make its City Possible Inclusive Growth Score technology available. The Growth Score brings together different data sets, broken down to the Census tract level, to offer insights into inclusion and neighborhood development. The cities using the Growth Score have not been identified.

The various jurisdictions will set timelines for the deployment of the projects, officials explained.

“What makes them winners is that each jurisdiction has identified a use case and intends to deploy the solution on the timeline that makes sense for them,” said Svitak.

Denver will use technology from Kuhmute, which provides universal charging and locking locations for micro-mobility devices.

Because of the financial constraints of many local governments, the tech solutions had to come cheap, with the winning proposals not costing more than about $5,000.

“We realize that many of our member governments are in very constrained financial circumstances, and we want to lower the barriers for them to be able to take advantage of all of the innovation that’s happening out there,” said Jamison.
Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.