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Inside Look: What American cities are planning, proposing and buying right now

There are two sides to the smart city story: 1) What people are saying and 2) what they are actually doing.

I’m here to talk about the second one. Below you’ll find highlights on what cities are doing right now in the U.S and Canada. I asked the experts from Onvia to prepare this inside look because they are the only ones I know that monitor all three aspects:

  • What cities are planning (by monitoring their budgets)
  • What cities are soliciting (by monitoring their RFPs)
  • What cities are buying (via Onvia Exchange)

A word about Onvia Exchange, which is free to the public sector. It’s a new program that lets you search from millions of recent bids to download relevant projects, specifications and contract terms. Highly recommended.

I hope you’ll take a moment to see what your peers are up to. We’ll repeat this every month so you can track trends and find ideas to apply to your own city. — Jesse Berst


By Nick Schiffler, Onvia

Here are 10 smart city projects from the past month that were either a) included in an agency’s future spending plans, b) put out to bid or c) awarded to a vendor.

What cities are planning
You can find indicators of upcoming projects within agency budgets and capital spending plans. These three projects were found in Onvia’s extensive database.

Solar Power Partnerships & Solar in City Facilities – City of Tempe, AZ
Tempe has allocated $850,000 in its budget through 2020 for renewable energy projects, which may include shade structures and ground-mounted solar panels.

Downtown Smart Parking Meters – City of Burlingame, CA
Burlingame has included $475,000 in its 2017 budget for smart parking meters, pay stations and electricity meters.

SCADA/Cyber Security – City of Fulton, MO
This project would cover the costs for replacing equipment that monitors the City of Fulton’s electric grid – something the city has budgeted $100,000 for through 2019.

What cities are putting out to bid
Bids and RFPs are the bread and butter of the B2G marketplace and represent currently open opportunities to win new contracts. These four smart city projects are a few examples of the kinds of contracts agencies have recently put out to bid.

Austin Energy Weatherization Program – City of Austin, TX
The City of Austin put out a Request for Proposal to perform basic weatherization work on a number of single-family, low-income residences.

Cloud-Based Voice Over IP System – Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, DC
This bid calls for a contractor to furnish all labor, materials, tools and equipment to provide a cloud-based IP system.

Parking Pay Station Replacement – City of Rye, NY
The City of Rye is seeking a vendor to install 10 new, multi-space parking meter pay stations that can be managed and monitored remotely.

Gunshot Detection System – Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, KY
Louisville is one of the latest cities interested in gunshot detection – this bid is for a gunshot detection system for a twelve-month period.

What cities are buying
Onvia’s B2G Intelligence System (B2GIS) tracks government projects through their entire lifecycle, all the way until each contract is actually awarded. These three historical contract awards provide examples of the kinds of “smart” projects that have recently been awarded.

Social Services Emergency Preparedness and Response – City of New York, NY
This $100,000 contract for emergency preparedness services was awarded to Human Services Council of New York City, Inc.

Purchase Of 125 Body-Worn Cameras, Tasers and Ongoing Services – City of Delray Beach, FL
Taser International, one of the biggest vendors in the body and dashboard camera market, was awarded a 5-year, $913,633 contract to supply body cameras and more.

DAS Solar Energy Monitoring System – Mt. Laurel School District, NJ
A solar energy monitoring contract for $9,930 for the Harrington and Hartford schools was awarded to Eneractive Solutions.

Nick Schiffler is a business-to-government (B2G) market analyst and content marketer for Onvia, leading commerce intelligence at the core of the B2G marketplace. Follow Onvia on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date with the latest government market insights.