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U.S. Department of Transportation: All Seven Finalists in the Smart City Challenge to Benefit from Continued Collaboration with Government and Private Sector Partners

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Launch Partner Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. will provide continued support to all seven cities

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that it will collaborate with government and private sector partners to help all seven finalist cities in the Smart City Challenge – not just the challenge winner –move forward with ideas that each city developed over the past six months.

This collaboration will include continued support from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc., and will focus resources from across the federal government and the private sector to support innovation in the cities of Austin, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco.

“Each of our finalist cities has demonstrated incredible vision and creativity in developing meaningful plans to use technology to improve the lives of their citizens and create a truly smart city,” said Secretary Foxx. “There has been a remarkable spirit of cooperation as these cities moved through the competition, and working together with our partners, we are excited to help empower all seven finalists to move forward in creating smart cities.”

Under the leadership of the Department of Transportation, the collaboration will include the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Challenge’s original private sector partners will also be supporting all seven cities.

“We look forward to working with all seven cities to ensure they consider resiliency as they start to make their Smart City plans a reality,” said Dr. Reginald Brothers, Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security.

Through the competition process, the Smart City Challenge generated an unprecedented amount of private sector interest in the cities’ proposals – with more than 150 diverse industry and non-profit partners pledging approximately $500 million in resources, technology solutions, and support to implement the smart city initiatives. All seven cities have committed, regardless of which city wins the Challenge, to continue working together to support the use of technology to address issues that all cities face, and to share best practices.

The Department of Transportation will work to identify federal resources for all seven finalists, including providing technical assistance with the Department’s grant and credit programs. Partner and federal agency involvement will include the following:

  • Vulcan Inc. will lead the effort to bring in other philanthropists to provide additional funding to support the climate and electrification efforts of all seven cities, and beyond.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to engaging with all seven cities, as well as other aspiring smart cities, to help cities with transportation system modeling and analysis, data management, and the electrification of their transportation networks. DOE will also engage with the finalist cities on a “technologist-in-cities” program to assist cities in their implementation efforts and facilitate continued engagement with DOE programs.
  • The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will focus on using technology to reimagine resiliency in the digital age, helping cities improve their disaster response efforts and become more resilient to evolving threats and climate change.
  • Consistent with their efforts around the Global City Teams Challenge, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will encourage connections to enable the cities to share their ideas and solutions for replicable and measurable smart city transportation systems that go beyond traffic to improve safety and mobility, catalyze economic growth, enable a cleaner and more sustainable environment, and provide an improved quality of life for residents of communities worldwide.
  • Most of DOT’s Smart City Challenge partners have also committed to support the seven cities moving forward.

The original Smart City Challenge was launched in December 2015 by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Vulcan President and Chief Operating Officer Barbara Bennett as an innovative competition for cities to reshape their transportation systems harnessing the power of technology, data and creativity to reimagine how people and goods move throughout cities. Seventy-eight cities submitted entries to the competition, and in March, seven finalists were selected. Each finalist then prepared a full proposal, and the mayors of the seven cities presented their final pitches at a live event in Washington, DC in early June. The winning city will be announced by the end of this month.


DOT 71-16