Mike Holt 2016-03-25 05:53:10
SMART CITIES The latest buzz in the technology sector, among many others, is primarily focused on Smart Cities. A Smart City is defined by some as “the ability to integrate multiple technological solutions to manage the city’s assets” - including, but not limited to, local departments of information systems, schools, libraries, transportation, hospitals, power plants, law enforcement and other community services. Large companies like AT&T and IBM have created an entire business line focused on making these connections - integrating data across different municipal services. And within the transportation sector, many agencies have been focused on improving mobility through technology and the introduction of ITS strategies and solutions. At the end of last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) unveiled a contest - the Smart City Challenge - designed to get “medium sized cities” thinking about the paradigm change brought on by large amounts of data, vehicle connectivity and automation, as well as advanced mobility services. The Challenge will name five cities as “finalists” in March 2016, and these finalists will compete for the grand prize of $50 million to target on implementing such solutions as connected and automated vehicles, intelligent, sensor- based infrastructure, smart land use, user- focused mobility services, urban analytics, smart grid/vehicle electrification, urban delivery and more. The USDOT’s vision for the Smart City Challenge is to identify where advanced technologies are integrated into the aspects of a city and play a critical role in helping cities and their citizens address challenges in safety, mobility, sustainability, economic vitality and address climate change. The Smart City Challenge will also provide the opportunity to highlight the role of public-private partnerships in addressing our transportation challenges. The USDOT itself is partnering with the Vulcan Philanthropy, who is putting up $10 million of the $50 million grand prize. Cities with a population between 200,000 and 850,000 (according to the 2010 US Census), which represent 15 percent or more of the population of their entire metropolitan area, form the primary definition for a mediumsized city. Judging for the Challenge will also focus on intangibles, such as leadership and capacity, to carry out their proposed Smart City concept and a commitment to the “sharing economy,” which includes making open, machine-readable data accessible, discoverable and useable by the public to fuel entrepreneurship and innovation. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced in mid-February that 77 cities had submitted applications - an “overwhelming response” in his words to this exciting opportunity. Here in Georgia, three cities were among the 77 applicants: Columbus (Muscogee County), Atlanta (Fulton County) and Brookhaven (DeKalb County). Let’s hope one of these cities is successful in obtaining a grant so we can lead the way with Smart City deployment. MORE ABOUT ITS GEORGIA We are well into our membership drive for 2016 and are looking to significantly increasing the number of member organizations involved this year. If your company or agency is in the transportation sector and is interested in traffic and technology initiatives, there has never been a better time to join. With the FAST Act and Smart Cities initiatives, investment in technology will increase substantially over the next few years. We make joining simple - one membership fee covers your entire organization and all its employees. Dues are tiered to accommodate large and small companies, as well as state and local agencies. Our chapter is a highly respected organization in the industry that is recognized as a leader. ITS Georgia has won State Chapter of the Year honors from ITS America two of the last three years. Our members benefit from monthly chapter meetings with sound technical presentations and our annual conference is one of the best in the nation, combining technical knowledge sharing, vendor product demonstrations and ample networking opportunities. For complete details and how to sign up, visit www.itsga.org and click “Join.” SAME Atlanta Post proudly presents a Southeastern Federal Agency Symposium with a special golf event and networking beginning on Monday, April 11 at 3 p.m. at Topgolf-Alpharetta. No golfing experience necessary, everyone can play! WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Anyone interested in learning about upcoming contracting opportunities with a variety of federal agencies, as well as firms wanting to network with others who are already working with these governmental agencies.
Published by American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia. View All Articles.
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