Community leaders explore smart city solutions, use of grants

The Smart Cities Council recently hosted government representatives during a half-day coaching workshop at the organization’s annual conference Smart Cities Week. Community representatives were paired with smart city experts to learn valuable insights about the benefits of smart technologies, and how a 2018 Readiness Challenge Grant can help make their communities more livable, workable and sustainable.

The Readiness Challenge Grant is open to government jurisdictions across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including cities, counties, states, provinces and regional authorities (transit, ports, etc.). The deadline to apply online is Nov. 10, 2017.

“In this era of global competition, the smart cities movement is not just a trend, it is a race. A race for jobs and talent. A race for cleaner, safer, more livable cities. A race for financial and environmental sustainability,” explained Jesse Berst, Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. “As other parts of the world move rapidly towards smart infrastructure, we urgently need to bring our cities into the next era.”

The five winning jurisdictions will receive a full year of expert, vendor-neutral mentoring, plus an on-site Readiness Workshop custom-tailored to each community’s needs and priorities.  Each will also receive a customized Readiness Roadmap as well as products and services worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from members of the Council such as Qualcomm, Sensus and Itron.

The 2018 Challenge follows a successful competition last year that awarded grants to five U.S. cities – Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia. Austin’s Readiness Workshop significantly helped the city and its regional stakeholders to shape key strategies on issues ranging from open data to public private partnerships and from smart affordable housing to digital civic engagement. And Philadelphia’s upcoming Readiness Workshop will help launch and enhance civic engagement for their Roadmap process, informing smart cities projects and investment priorities for the next several years.

The five 2018 Readiness Challenge Grant winners will be announced at an awards reception Jan. 23, 2018, the evening before the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Smart Cities Council is the world’s largest smart cities network and aims to foster a world where digital technology and intelligent design are harnessed to create smart, sustainable cities with high-quality living and high-quality jobs. A leader in smart cities education, the council is comprised of more than 120 partners and advisers who have generated $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and contributed to more than 11,000 smart cities projects. To learn more, visit www.smartcitiescouncil.com.

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