American opposition to “Smart Cities” and all the costs, risks and privacy violations associated with them has ongoing for years (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Nevertheless, proponents are still convincing American communities to officially become “Smart.” Additionally, legislators are helping to fund “Smart Cities” with hundreds of millions in federal grants. In fact, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is a big “Smart Cities” proponent too.
Of course, even communities that don’t officially call themselves “Smart Cities” have still been installing expensive, hazardous, and privacy invasive data collecting technologies including utility “Smart” meters (electric, gas, and water), “Smart” streetlights, etc. Recently International Data Corporation (IDC) – “the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets” – announced its picks for American smart city accomplishments. Oh joy!
From Smart Cities Dive:
IDC names 17 winners for its 2022 North America Smart City Awards
From Schenectady, New York, to Santa Ana, California, the group recognized smart city accomplishments across 14 categories for its fifth annual awards.
Cailin Crowe Editor
DC Government Insights announced the winners of its fifth annual Smart Cities North America Awards last week. From Syracuse, New York, to San Francisco, the winners across 14 categories are as follows:
|Administration||City of Schenectady, New York||Community Officials Data Exchange C.O.D.E.|
|Civic Engagement||City and County of San Francisco||With You On Life’s Journey – Human Services Agency|
|Data-Driven Policing||City of Dallas||Violent Crime Evidence-Based Reduction Plan|
|Next-Gen Emergency Services||City of Miramar, Florida||Miramar Records Management System|
|Digital Equity and Accessibility||City of Brownsville, Texas||City of Brownsville, Texas|
|Economic Development||City of Burbank, California||ONEBurbank Fiber Optic Infrastructure for Economic and Community Development — Burbank Water and Power|
|Education||City of Albuquerque, New Mexico||Collaboration with Central NM Community College IoT Bootcamp|
|Public Health and Social Services||County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania||Utilizing School Bus Routes and Machine Learning to Deliver Meals to Families in Need|
|Smart Buildings||City of Mesa, Arizona||Mesa City Facilities Automation|
|Smart Water||City of Morrisville, North Carolina||Connected Parks Initiative|
|Smart Water||City of Santa Ana, California||Water System Mobile Field Data Management and Mapping|
|Sustainable Infrastructure||City of Syracuse, New York||Syracuse Smart Street Lighting|
|Transportation – Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, Public Transit, Ride-Hailing/Ride-Sharing||City of Virginia Beach, Virginia||Virginia Beach Traffic Data-Sharing Partnership|
|Transportation – Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, Public Transit, Ride-Hailing/Ride-Sharing||City of Wilson, North Carolina||RIDE powered by Via for Wilson, North Carolina|
|Transportation Infrastructure||City of Pittsburgh||Move PGH|
|Transportation Infrastructure||City of Lima, Ohio||Smart Train Avoidance|
|Urban Planning and Land Use||City of St. Petersburg, Florida||Smart Intersection – Vision Zero|
The awards are intended to recognize the progress that North American cities have made across smart city projects, in addition to providing a forum for localities to share best practices. According to IDC, this year’s winners were selected due to their foresight and effectiveness at using technology and innovation to provide new services and economic opportunities to meet resident needs.
Cities can self-nominate or be nominated by others and are selected based on a scoring rubric that assesses “how mature a city is in using technology, forming partnerships and being innovative,” IDC Vice President of Government Insights, Education, Smart Cities and Communities Ruthbea Yesner said in an email interview. The awards also factor in votes from the public.
IDC has seen some interesting changes among winners over a five-year period, Yesner said. “There is a lot more focus on equity, accessibility, sustainability and resilience,” she said, as the pandemic and weather events created an urgency among cities and communities. IDC has also seen more large-scale projects among winning cities in recent years, a change from smaller pilots and implementations, according to Yesner.
Albuquerque, for example, won in the education category for its IoT BootCamp, a smart city testbed created in partnership with a local community college and the city’s Department of Technology and Innovation. The city has named five projects to be tested as prototypes at the site, including a remote street light controller, a mobile Wi-Fi solution, a sound detection system, a parking reservation system and an energy harvesting project.
“We are honored to receive national recognition for what Albuquerque does best – supporting those who bring their own creativity and diverse backgrounds to solve real-world problems,” Albuquerque’s Technology and Innovation Director Brian Osterloh said in a statement. “We are eager to continue the growth of this partnership as our community gains recognition as a national hub for IoT excellence.”
Meanwhile, Dallas was recognized for its violent crime reduction efforts. The city partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio to develop a strategy, in part informed by predictive-data modeling and “designed to avoid heavy-handed policing.” Ultimately, the city experienced a 14.5% reduction in violent crime compared to the previous year and arrests dropped by more than half.
The winners will be recognized at the Smart Cities Connect conference, held April 4-7, in Columbus, Ohio.