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North America's smartest projects revealed

An earthquake alert app, kerb-to-gate biometric airport terminal and a flood mitigation programme are among the category winners of IDC’s smart city awards.

Smart Living in the Windy City of Chicago won the civic engagement category
Smart Living in the Windy City of Chicago won the civic engagement category

The winners of the second annual IDC Smart Cities North America Awards (SCNAA) have been named.


The awards launched in 2018 by IDC Government Insights are designed to recognise the progress North American communities have made in executing smart cities projects, as well as provide a forum for sharing best practices to help accelerate smart city development in the region.


Seventy cities represented


Winners were named in 12 categories with a tie in both transportation unfrastructure and urban planning and land use. More than 70 cities/counties were represented, underscoring the overwhelming success and efficiency of smart city projects implemented across the country, according to IDC.


“We continue to be impressed with the quality of projects being implemented by cities and their partners in North America. This second year of applicants demonstrated that cities are being highly innovative in terms of partnership and funding models and using technology to achieve specific outcomes,” said Ruthbea Yesner, vice president, IDC Government Insights and Smart Cities and Communities.


She continued: “This year we are working more closely with the finalists and winners to bring these city leaders together to share lessons learned and best practices over the course of the year. We are thrilled to promote these successes and offer a forum for this community to help other municipalities implement similar projects.”

"Cities are being highly innovative in terms of partnership and funding models and using technology to achieve specific outcomes”

Winners in the SCNAA illustrate best practice examples of urban innovation with a particular focus on the use of technology (cloud, platforms, analytics, IoT, mobile solutions) and data, unique partnerships, funding models, and/or community involvement.


This year’s winners by category are:

San Diego, CA: Get It Done Expansion
The City of San Diego has expanded its 311 "Get It Done" system to better engage with customers and employees. Get It Done launched a new mobile app, streamlined web interface, and an internal system for employees to process incoming reports.


Civic Engagement
Chicago, IL: Smart Living in the Windy City
The portal contains data sets including city employee salary, business licences, crime, food inspection, water quality and more. It’s free and provides user-friendly dashboards and downloadable, machine-readable data.


Digital Equity
Borough of Brooklyn and Neighborhood of Brownsville: NYCx Co-Labs in Brownsville
NYCx Co-Labs are “neighbourhood innovation labs” located in underserved neighbourhoods to accelerate the deployment of smart city technologies with the New Yorkers whose employment, transportation, health and environmental circumstances are most affected by the rapidly evolving urban and civic technology landscape.


Economic Development
Las Vegas, NV: Economic, Mobility and Safety through Data Driven Operations Management
With Hitachi Smart Spaces and Video Intelligence, officials have smart cameras, tools for data analysis, visualisation and dashboards that enable real-time views of events taking place on the streets, and historical patterns that enhance planning.


Chattanooga, TN: Chattanooga Smart Community Collaborative (CSCC)
The CSCC brings together city and county government, public hospital, University of Tennessee and the municipal utility/fibre provider to coordinate initiatives that require a partnership ecosystem. The CSCC has launched a Smart City Testbed.


Public Safety
New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Real Time Crime Centre (RTCC)
Created in 2017, and part of a $40 million city-wide public safety improvement plan, the Real-time Crime Centre uses cameras, license plate readers and software to integrate information from a variety of sources. Critical information is provided to first responders.


Smart Buildings
Houston, TX: Houston Smart Buildings
In partnership with Microsoft, Houston is implementing a first-of-its-kind comprehensive smart city initiative, which takes the approach that the entirety of the city is a smart entity. With a focus on the city’s key priorities of disaster recovery and response, building and school safety, and more efficient, capable transportation, the initiative currently includes 22 planned engagements. Together, these 22 engagements make up the base of the broader smart city initiative, which will be expanded over time.


Smart Water
Albany, NY: Beaver Creek CSO Abatement and Flood Mitigation Programme: Creating Smart Infrastructure for the Management of Wet Weather Flows
Beaver Creek implemented a smart infrastructure network that uses a continuous monitoring and adaptive control (CMAC) platform to proactively predict and manage wet weather flows. The programme’s flow management practices serve to re-establish natural floodplain storage to address challenges within the urban CSO environment reconnecting communities on the water.

Sustainable Infrastructure
City and County of Los Angeles, CA: ShakeAlertLA Mobile Application
The ShakeAlertLA app provides an earthquake early warning system to residents so they can get to safety. The mobile app characterises an earthquake, calculates the in-tensity of ground shaking, and delivers warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way.


Transportation - Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
San Jose, CA: Accelerating Response for Safer Communities – A Novel Spatially-Aware Approach to Emergency Vehicle Pre-emption for First Responders
San Jose has implemented a centralised emergency vehicle pre-emption programme. The system uses vehicle location technology to communicate with the city’s traffic con-trol centre to clear intersections of traffic and provide emergency vehicles with a green signal.


Transportation - Infrastructure - TIE
Louisville, KY: Open Government Coalition – Waze WARP
The city built the Waze Waze Analytics Relational-database Platform ("Waze WARP") using traffic data from Waze and other data to build a traffic analysis module. Louisville then founded the Open Government Coalition, a network of government agencies working on open source projects. Waze WARP now gives 600+ government entities access to data to improve mobility, pedestrian and bike safety, road conditions, and emergency response. OGC has now embarked on additional projects to foster innovation.

Atlanta International Airport (Terminal F) - Delta Air Lines Launches First Kerb-to-Gate Biometric Terminal
At Terminal F in Atlanta, Delta Air Lines launched the first kerb-to-gate biometric termi-nal in the US. For international flights, Delta uses facial recognition a 46 check-in kiosks, 54 bag drop counters, 6 TSA checkpoints, and 12 departure gates. Nearly all 25,000 passengers who travel through ATL Terminal F each week are choosing this optional process to check-in to flights.

Urban Planning and Land Use - TIE
Boston, MA: StreetCaster
In Boston, 311 users are not a representative sample of the city’s residents. By focusing on requests, the city has inadvertently underspent in some neighbourhoods for sidewalk maintenance. StreetCaster transforms how Boston makes capital investments in infrastructure by pairing 311 requests with measures of equity, usage, and asset condition. Boston is starting with sidewalks, traffic safety and roadway markings, but ultimately, StreetCaster is a toolkit for decision-making across all infrastructure invest-ments.

Raleigh, NC: Emergency Operations Situational Analysis Smart Dashboard
The city of Raleigh developed a Situational Analysis Smart Dashboard for its emergen-cy operations centre and refined it in real time as new types of data, such as current wind speed, were identified as critical to the safety of the public and city workers during an emergency.


To find out more about these projects, go to IDC Smart City Winners





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