The Smart City Movement is Growing

by Diane Vautier on July 20, 2017

The Smart City Movement is Growing

Most industry experts agree that the adoption of the Smart City concept is growing around the country and world. Cities are looking to new and technologically savvy ways to meet the needs of their citizens on a broad range of levels from social connectivity to city infrastructure management and service delivery. That could mean implementing city wide Wi-Fi for connectivity, the construction of LEED certified buildlings for sustainability, or the use of electronic health care records for easier medical care. Cities may help you find available parking or coordinate traffic patterns to relieve congestion.  City planners track and analyze large resources like water, waste water and garbage collection. Being “Smart” is attractive and offers early adopting cities a competitive advantage over their competing metro areas.

Gartner Research “revealed that CIOs and urban management leaders have embraced the smart city idea for infrastructure and service delivery, despite the technological challenges.” They go on to say that “[B]by 2020, 10% of smart cities will use streetlamps as the backbone for a smart city WAN.”

Navigant Research agrees. “The momentum behind the development of smart cities continues unabated. City leaders around the world are committing to smart city objectives as they attempt to shape the development of their cities to meet social, economic, and environmental challenges.”

Smart City projects are growing nationally and abroad. Planned projects, projects that are currently being built, and projects that have been completed, are all on track for substantial growth. Experts are still debating how much growth Smart Cities projects will experience and the actual value of it.

IHS Market Research reports “Smart Cities to Rise Fourfold in Number from 2013 to 2025.” IHS defines smart cities as “cities that have deployed—or are currently piloting—the integration of information, communications and technology (ICT) solutions across three or more different functional areas of a city. These functional areas include mobile and transport, energy and sustainability, physical infrastructure, governance, and safety and security.”  They predict that under the IHS definition of smart city, annual investment of smart city projects reached slightly over $1 billion in 2013, but will go on to surpass $12 billion in 2025.

Markets and Markets Research reports “Smart Cities Market worth 757.74 Billion USD by 2020.” They go on to say that “the [S]smart cities market has been segmented into focus areas, smart enabling technologies, and regions. The focus areas are transportation, utilities, buildings, and smart citizen services. Smart enabling technologies are further segmented into networking, location-based technologies, security, artificial intelligence, and other smart technologies. Finally, the smart cities market is segmented according to the regions of North America, Europe, APAC, MEA, and Latin America.

Although the exact amount and direction varies among research groups, the consensus is clear that the trajectory of this industry illustrates substantial growth. In the U.S., there are a number of cities rising to the challenge. On the East coast Boston, New York and Washington D.C. have been making a name for themselves as Smart Cities. West coast early adopters include San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and San Diego. Columbus, winner of the Smart Cities Challenge and Chicago remind us that innovation and technology isn’t just for high-tech hubs, but is being incorporated by cities of all sizes and locations.

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The Emergence of Smart Cities

by Diane Vautier on July 7, 2017

The Emergence of Smart CitiesWhat is a Smart City? The concept of a Smart City is an emerging one, and one that still eludes exact definition for most people. Although cities of all sizes are expressing interest in adopting the smart city concept, the manifestations of ‘smart’ qualities present themselves in many different forms. Some cites want to wirelessly manage streetlights and traffic, some want to manage waste management. Others consider solar lighting on walking paths to be ‘smart technology’ while others want to provide area-wide wireless internet access to underserved areas or high-use public spaces.

While cities continue to explore the concept and struggle to define exactly what it means to their communities, the general idea of a smart city can be boiled down into the following short phrase.

smart city is an urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things (IoT) technology in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets.  ~ Wikipedia

In other words, the concept of a smart city includes technology enabled assets, connected via a robust communications infrastructure capable of high-capacity data transmission, and the means to aggregate and manage the resulting asset generated data.

Smart City Challenge

In December 2015, the Obama Administration launched the Nation’s first Smart City Challenge to create innovative and scalable technology solutions toward global climate sustainability. The U.S. Department of Transportation in partnership with Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., “inspired 78 mid-sized cities to compete for the opportunity to demonstrate how advanced data and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies and applications can be used to reduce congestion, keep travelers safe, protect the environment, respond to climate change, and support economic vitality.”

Last summer (June 2016), the City of Columbus, OH was selected as the challenge winner. As the winner, they received $40 million from U.S. DOT and $10 million from Vulcan. The City itself had already raised nearly double that amount before being awarded the prize money, collecting $90 million from private partners to be used toward implementing their smart city initiatives.

The Smart City Challenge is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation and Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. which aims to catalyze cities across the country to demonstrate “what’s possible” through scalable solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create innovative and practical climate change solutions.  ~ Smart City Challenge

Smart Columbus

The City of Columbus in collaboration with Columbus Partnership, a membership-based CEO leadership organization, now support the newly formed “Smart Columbus” initiative for the greater Columbus Region. Smart Columbus will be using the roughly $140 million dollars to push innovation forward and become a model for other national and global cities. Smart Columbus is actively reaching out to potential vendors, partners and technologists to capitalize on the commercial/municipal collaboration opportunities that advance their mission, vision and goals.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that local communities across the country will receive nearly $65 million in grants to support advanced technology transportation projects.

Smart America

To continue the future of innovation theme, in October of 2016, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced nearly $65 million in grants supporting advanced technology transportation projects will be given to local communities across the country. Foxx is quoted as saying that “T[t]hese grants will enable cities and rural communities to harness new technologies to tackle hard problems like reducing congestion, connecting people to mass transit, and enhancing safety.”

Two U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) programs are awarding the grants: the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) program run by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox program overseen by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

With grant support from federal agencies, proactive initiatives from local municipalities, and the resources of academia and the private sector, the concept of smart cities is emerging. We still may not have an exact definition of it, but we know that it’s coming, and defining itself along the way.

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The Internet of Things – The Future is Now

by Diane Vautier October 18, 2016

Modern technology is infiltrating every aspect of our lives, from smart objects to integrated systems, from information sharing to logistics and nearly everything in between.

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B Corp – A New Type of Corporate Structure

by Diane Vautier June 11, 2012

A B Corporation is a new legal corporate structure that allows a company to consider factors other than strictly shareholder wealth, like employees, the environment and sustainability.

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Libraries and Social Media

by Diane Vautier May 14, 2012

“U.S. libraries of all types continue to make increasing use of social media and Web 2.0 applications and tools to connect with library users and to market programs and services” according to the American Library Association.

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How to Make a Book Planter

by Diane Vautier May 12, 2012

How to make a book planter. I made this book planter as a thank you gift for a friend of mine who happens to be a library director.

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by Diane Vautier April 3, 2012

Local search engine optimization is crucial for small businesses. If potential customers can’t find the business, they can’t buy from the business, especially if it’s a brick and mortar business and not an online sales shop. If you’re a small business, being online is no longer an option. Whether you like it or not, it’s […]

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ReStore: The Go-To Resource for Overstock, Closeout and Used Building Material and Home Improvement Supplies

by Diane Vautier January 13, 2012

ReStore, an ingenious idea of Habitat for Humanity, is the go-to resource to find overstock, closeout and used building material items and home improvement supplies. It’s a new gem in Seacoast NH’s eco-friendly, green crown. The newly opened Restore in Newington, NH was orchestrated by the Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity.

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Moss Graffiti – A Unique Tool in a Guerrilla Gardener’s Arsenal

by Diane Vautier January 10, 2012

There are three ways to create Moss Graffiti. You can grow a whole wall of it and then remove the area you don’t want making a reverse design, stencil it on and watch it grow into your design, or paste it on in a ready-made fashion.

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Moss. Grow It, Design It, Use It For Art

by Diane Vautier January 8, 2012

Moss. Gardeners enjoy the softness it adds to shade gardens. Decorators use it to add a hint of green to indoor design, sometimes topping the soil on flower pots, or on the planters themselves. Artists are using moss in a new way, as outdoor green art or moss graffiti.

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