The USA is the fountainhead of innovation and implementing the latest technologies. To tackle the problems associated with urbanization – think traffic, shrinking real estate, pollution – US cities are embracing the latest tech to turn ‘smart’. Here are five shining examples of Innovative smart cities in the US.
- San Francisco
San Francisco is one of the top 5 Smart Cities in the US. In 2016, San Francisco received USD 11 million from the U.S Department of Transport to solve the problem of traffic and mobility. Subsequently, the city launched an initiative called the “SFpark Project” to introduce smart parking all over the city. Using sensors and data, the city established demand-responsive pricing that improved parking management. Ultimately, this initiative helped reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions.
Columbus launched a citywide initiative called ‘Smart Columbus’ in 2019. The Connected Columbus Transportation Network is one of the initiatives of Smart Columbus that involves an app that allows residents to pay for all modes of transport, slated for launch in 2020. This app will facilitate mobile payments and integrate various transportation services, boosting mobility across the city.
Another project aims to reduce freight-induced congestion, which is a major challenge faced by the city. The city plans to use IoT to develop a communication system that will allow two or more autonomous freight trucks to remain in contact and follow each other to ensure smooth traffic flow.
With funding of USD 6 million by the U.S Department of Transportation, Denver aims to find solutions to modernize its infrastructure, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality. Its latest plan includes increasing the usage of public and private electronic vehicles and installing pedestrian detection systems to improve safety for people.
Denver also plans to establish a system that allows freight trucks to communicate to reduce traffic and improve delivery efficiency. Using the funds received, the city plans to buy 1,500 public electronic vehicles and install pedestrian detection systems across the city in the next few years.
Pittsburgh aims to use smart technology to enhance mobility, improve safety, and address climate change. One of its initiatives includes expanding Surtrac – the city’s smart traffic lights system. These lights adapt to changing traffic patterns and reduce travel time. Surtrac was installed in 50 different traffic intersections, resulting in reduced waiting time and decreased vehicle emissions. The city also plans to take eco-friendly initiatives like installing LED traffic lights and electric vehicle charging stations.
Dallas adopted smart technology with the help of the private sector. The Dallas Innovative Alliance (DIA) is a private-public partnership with stakeholders who are residents of Dallas devoted to reinventing it into a smart city. The first phase of the DIA initiative includes introducing smart parking, smart irrigation systems, interactive digital kiosks, and an open-source data platform. The DIA also developed a “living lab” located in Dallas. The lab uses inputs from several stakeholders to develop smart technologies for the city.
These cities are just a few examples of how technology is being leveraged to improve our way of life. Each of them has adopted a unique way to manage its resources effectively. Other cities across the world must take a leaf out of their book to offer citizens a better life.