Economic Development

What do Alaska, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Maine have in common? They're among the 17 states that saw at least a 10 percent increase in the number of state and local agency bids and requests for proposal between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017, according to a new Onvia report.

We all want to live in smart cities, but are we willing to pay higher taxes to build them? City planners charged with moving municipalities into the digital age say there are several sources of funding available, but without some kind of "smart city tax" the projects that do get financed may not be sustainable.

Parking meters, information signs, CCTV, traffic signals – almost everywhere that you look in a modern city, there’s a microchip embedded device, connecting to what has now become known as the all-encompassing Internet of Things. Although we often overlook the fact, cities are, in essence, huge and complex businesses. Cities compete for residents, investors, tourists, and even funding from central government. For cities to remain relevant, they have to become smarter, leaner, and more connected.

Verizon Wireless has activated its Category M1 LTE network, making it the first U.S. carrier to launch a nationwide LTE network dedicated to the internet of things. The carrier said it will offer IoT data plans for as little as $2 per month per device, with customized options available for bulk activations and volume purchases.

General contractors, engineers, technology, security and architectural firms watch school bond elections carefully because the bond packages represent upcoming opportunities worth billions of dollars. One must wonder why thousands of other types of firms are not watching bond elections as diligently also.

Local government technology officials gathered to discuss the myriad challenges and opportunities facing their respective organizations during the Laserfiche Empower conference Feb. 8.

A renewed partnership between the Public Technology Institute (PTI) and two national city and county advocacy groups should help to support public-sector leaders in addressing pressing technology issues, streamline event-level competition and potentially increase their procurement power, representatives of the organizations said in announcing the pact on Thursday, Feb. 2.

The competition for technicians skilled in IT, Big Data and the other technologies smart cities require has been heating up for some time. A broad range of industries, from banking to manufacturing, need talented IT and analytics professionals, too.

"The idea that it's like, 'we'll figure that out when it gets here,' I think is a reason why there's so much anger in our communities about this issue," according to the mayor of Dayton, Ohio.

Read Parts I and II of this story.

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