City Services

After years of talk about smart cities, people are wondering when - and where - will we start to see them really begin to take shape. What will they look like? How will we interact with them? A smart city is more than the sum of its parts. With a street light here, a sensor there — when solutions are not clearly connected and without critical mass — you don’t get the combinatorial benefit of different systems working together.

It's crunch time in Missouri, where muni broadband supporters are seeking to defeat SB 186 - a bill that eliminates communities' rights to build public-owned broadband networks, effectively crippling jurisdictions' economies. Though the passage might be uncertain, there's a chance that incumbents and their allies may slip the bill's text in unrelated legislation.

When it comes to energy and environmentally friendly buildings, no way of keeping score is more familiar than LEED, the venerable Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification and rating system. The nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its first version of LEED in 2000, which was "technology light," relying on paper-based reports to support certification.

City councils around the United States realize that connecting municipal infrastructure to the internet can improve the quality of life for citizens and ultimately save taxpayers money. The drive to make cities "smarter" is a clear opportunity for infrastructure vendors and systems integrators, but cities are looking to these companies for more than equipment and services.

As the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the “center of the universe” for innovation and disruptive technologies powered by the Internet economy.

The San José metro area is the most connected region in the United States according to the 2015 American Communities Survey. That same year, Bloomberg cited San José as America’s richest city, based on its high median income.

San José, however, is very much a tale of two cities with significant inequality for income and connectedness.

An Atlanta company has started up a $10 million data center in Chattanooga, deciding to locate the facility here due to EPB's smart grid and the city's proximity to major fiber lines.

With a couple of months of 2017 under our belts, now is the time to focus our thoughts on ways sourcing and procurement can leverage a number of likely changes expected in 2017, regardless of the industry.

Can you define what a "smart city" means for where you live? Neither can many of your local and state officials - but they will tell you that's the kind of city they want to create. Generally, a smart city is one that uses uses data, applications and technology to help people and goods move more quickly, cheaply and efficiently.

Last fall, Oakley, Calif., city officials were anxious about the beginning of a smart city transformation. Ideas were floated about connected mobility, more efficient online government services and linking security cameras together to aid police dispatch centers. "There are hundreds of different initiatives," said Public Works Director and City Engineer Kevin Rohani back in October.

Take an evening drive through some of the towns that make up the Coachella Valley Unified School District, a largely rural area near the Salton Sea in Riverside County, Calif., and you might be surprised to see yellow school buses parked in odd, uncharacteristic locations. But rest assured, they have a purpose.

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