Building smart cities and counties with the Infrastructure Act

The “smart city” concept has been adopted by cities and counties globally. While the term is inexact, a typical vision is of an IT-enabled environment that efficiently and effectively delivers public services; enables informed, proactive decision-making by the leadership; and promotes sustainability through better resource utilization.

To deliver on this vision, smart cities require a massive deployment of information and communications technologies (ICT), including wired and wireless technologies. Included in this ICT array would be a multitude of networks and sensors in an Internet of Things (IoT) framework that permeates all sectors of modern life. Applications include smart electric grids, intelligent transportation systems, integrated monitoring systems and decision-support systems, to name the most prominent.

While a true end-to-end “smart city” with all these applications does not yet exist, many cities across the globe, such as Helsinki, Singapore and Seoul, have made significant progress in delivering on the promise. Many others, such as Ho Chi Minh City and the Iskandar Region in Malaysia, are in the advanced planning stages. Unfortunately, while a handful of U.S. cities have implemented some isolated solutions, progress in the United States on a broader smart city deployment significantly lags the international players.