Kansas City has issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) for a public-private partnership to help it develop smart city infrastructure along Prospect Avenue in conjunction with a Prospect MAX bus line upgrade. The smart city programme’s latest phase also will include continuing to upgrade basic city services, expanding its free public Wi-Fi network to benefit more citizens and focusing on ways to increase life expectancy.
Building on previous successes
The city’s strategy is very much one of continuing to expand by building on previous successes–thinking big, but starting small. The city’s smart city programme started small but scalable: a new 3.5-kilometre street car line, smart LED streetlights, informational kiosks and free public Wi-Fi in a limited section of downtown. The next phase took those additions to a larger area and added more services–and more ways to collect valuable data that would be used to focus on projects that would provide the most benefit for the most citizens.
- Smart Cities Council Global Lead Partner Cisco (one of the city’s long-term technology partners), established a Cisco Networking Academy at a local high school to help prepare students for jobs in the tech industry.
- The city is testing a Pothole Predictor which uses smart city tech and predictive intelligence to determine where roadway rehabilitation may be needed.
- Travel times on Main Street have been reduced by dynamic traffic signal timing.
- Car rental company Avis, in partnership with the city, is running what is said to be the country’s largest trial of connected vehicles.
A better city experience
City leaders understand the data they’ve been collecting from the smart city technologies they’re deploying is tremendously useful. The sensor-collected data is helping guide the city as it works to improve city services, the ‘city experience’ and support and encourage entrepreneurship and economic development.
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