Smart Cities Council, the world’s largest smart cities network, announced Wednesday Austin is one of five U.S. cities to win its 2017 readiness challenge grant supporting innovation, inclusion, and investment in local communities.
The award includes a custom readiness workshop to help cities develop plans using smart technologies to solve challenges. The City's workshop will focus on designing strategies and solutions for affordable housing for underserved populations, mobility, and economic development issues that have been heightened by Austin’s rapid growth, booming tech sector, and attractive quality of life.
“Winning the Smart Cities Council Challenge Grant puts us that much closer to creating a comprehensive strategy to use technology to benefit communities that are usually left behind,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
The program will bring some of the world’s top practitioners to Austin to work with local leaders and technologists creating a smart city infrastructure to improve transportation, mobility, housing, affordability.
“Austin’s Smart Cities Strategic Roadmap is building on current innovative projects to achieve broader benefits,” said District 5 City Council Member Ann Kitchen. “This Grant will accelerate the City’s transformation from using technology in small, specific ways towards a broader vision and systemic use to better address our community’s problems.” Austin is leveraging its technology community and creative culture to design better ways for residents to access services and civic information.
“We are united in a common vision: to create a comprehensive, inclusive, advancing, sustainable smart city infrastructure in Austin, and to collaborate with other cities. This Smart Cities Council award will greatly augment and accelerate our efforts,” said Jay Boisseau, President of Austin CityUP™, a smart city consortium.
The City will also receive supporting products and services from Smart Cities Council member companies and advisors including Ameresco, AT&T, CH2M, CompTIA, Dow Building and Construction, IDC, Qualcomm, Sensus, Telit, TM Forum and Transdev.
"The City of Austin's Digital Inclusion program looks forward to working with Smart Cities Council to further our success in Austin and share best practices with other communities around the country," said Telecommunication and Regulatory Affairs Officer Rondella Hawkins who oversees the City’s Digital inclusion efforts.