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Smart Cities Groups Band Together to Form National Coalition

The National Smart Coalitions Partnership was formed by regional smart city organizations from Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Arizona and Florida with the goal of furthering collaborations across the country.

A map of the U.S. with gold lines connecting dots all over it to represent connectivity.
Shutterstock/Blue Planet Studio
The spirit of collaboration in the smart city movement has taken a new step with the formation of the National Smart Coalitions Partnership (NSCP).

The new partnership represents efforts of regional smart city organizations from Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Arizona and Florida to make it easier to scale projects and work through some of the larger issues like privacy, connectivity and data sharing.

“By uniting multiple regions, each with their respective needs and challenges, NSCP also hopes to better align private-sector capabilities with specific demands from local jurisdictions,” said Jen Sanders, co-founder of the North Texas Innovation Alliance (NTXIA), an NSCP member.

The national partnership unites more than 100 local governments. In areas like privacy, NSCP can bring together key stakeholders and others to help establish best practices, said Aaron Deacon, member managing director of KC Digital Drive in Kansas City, Mo.

“However, the scope of the NSCP’s mission is not specialized to one specific issue. Instead, the NSCP will focus on the issues of common importance across each region, including connectivity, resilience, transportation, cybersecurity and financial sustainability,” Deacon remarked, adding that some of the initial focus areas will be around “revenue-generating solutions” to help advance various smart city projects.

Other members of the National Smart Coalitions Partnership include the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, the Southern Arizona Smart Region (led by the Regional Partnering Center), Smart North Florida, Illinois Smart City and Region Association, and The Connective in greater Phoenix.

National partnerships like this one, say supporters, can help to bridge gaps between local, state and regional efforts, particularly when thinking about issues or projects in areas like transportation or cybersecurity, said Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance.

“The creation of the NSCP was predicated on immediate focus areas shared across our regions, including connectivity, resilience in the face of extreme weather impacts, transportation, cybersecurity and financial models and revenue generation,” said Svitak. “But we anticipate that as both local and national priorities continue to mature, NSCP programming will respond accordingly.”
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.