Smart Cities: 4 Ideas that Got Funded

The Global City Team Challenge helps cities tap into over $80 million in federal funding.

ARTICLE | Oct 17, 2016

If you're looking for a way to get your smart cities idea off the ground, check out the Global City Team Challenge (GCTC). It's a collaborative platform enabling local governments, nonprofits, academic institutions, technologists, and private corporations from all over the world to form project teams, or “action clusters,” in order to work on groundbreaking Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Cities and stakeholders can tap into some of the $80 million worth of federal grants that are part of the White House Smart Cities Initiative.

GCTC Project Director Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shared these four breakthrough ideas to help get your ideas flowing:

  1. Portland, Oregon, is using low-cost sensors to improve air quality and the environment throughout the Portland area—a “smart” corridor where transit data, traffic signals, and air quality sensing are made available in a data portal with data visualization and analytics to improve transportation options, public health, economic development, and civic engagement.
  2. Montgomery County, Maryland, is linking sensors in seniors’ homes with emergency responders to reduce the number of senior deaths due to in-home accidents. 
  3. Bellevue, Washington, is improving city-wide interconnectivity of department systems—including police and fire, civic services, transportation, utilities, environmental, and IT departments—to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all city staff.
  4. Newport News, Virginia, is developing a system that will use water-level sensors, crowd-sourced data, and computer modeling to predict flood events, thereby improving emergency response and reducing loss of life and property. Eight cities and communities in Virginia’s Tidewater region are participating in this project.

About GCTC and NIST

According to Rhee, more than 150 communities and 400 organizations have participated in GCTC since its inception in 2014. "Along with the many opportunities these solutions present, there are a number of challenges including the need for interoperablity standards," he said. The aim of the project is to develop replicable, scalable, and sustainable models for incubation and deployment of interoperable standards based IoT solutions and demonstrate their measurable benefits to communities. 

On October 25-26, communities already participating in GCTC projects, as well as new jurisdictions, will gather at a SuperCluster Kickoff event focused on multi-city smart projects. Examples of challenges to be tackled include multi-city resilience to large-scale natural disasters, intelligent transportation systems, and regional air quality improvements through coordinated local action. Attendance at the event is free but advance registration is required. 

Please let us know in the comments section below if you plan to attend. We'd love to get a blog post or check in with you about your experience. 


You may also be interested in