Inside Look: What cities are buying and planning in March

This information provided by Smart Cities Council North America.

As you’re developing your smart cities plans, it’s sometimes helpful to see what other cities — perhaps your neighbors — are doing. Each month, Onvia gives us an inside look at what cities are doing through the largest contracts they award and the proposals they request.

There are a couple of trends to note. Cities are making big investments transportation and city-wide, high-speed communications. And street lighting remains a hot area too. — Kevin Ebi


By Nick Schiffler, Onvia

The smart cities movement has led to plenty of opportunities across the country for city governments and private companies to work together.

As more governments begin investing in smart cities, companies in the business-to-government (B2G) marketplace have the chance to provide relevant products and services. And city officials can study smart technology procurement data via the Onvia Exchange to find qualified vendors and reference comparable bid specifications from colleagues in other agencies.

Here are 10 smart city projects from the past month that were awarded to a vendor, recently put out to bid or included in an agency’s future spending plan:

Recent Contract Awards
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.  

Provide Communication Services – City of Dallas, TX
Dallas awarded a $10.2 million contract to Smart City Networks for the provision of communication services, including data, internet and telecommunication services, at the city’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Public Wide Area Network Two-Way Communications – Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, CA
This Los Angeles department awarded Itron, Inc. a $7.1 million contract for providing two-way communication services for automatic meter infrastructure.

Solar Energy – City of St. Cloud, MN
The City of St. Cloud issued two awards to US Solar and Xcel Energy for the provision of “A conservative amount of 6,000,000 kilowatt/hour of solar energy.”

Currently Open Bids and RFPs
Bids and RFPs are the bread and butter of government contracting. These smart city projects are a few examples of the kinds of contracts agencies have recently put out to bid.

2040 Transportation Master Plan – City of Madison, AL
The City of Madison’s RFP for a long-range transportation master plan is aimed at “Improving mobility, mitigation of traffic congestion, improving pedestrian safety and vehicular movement, and enhancement of transportation corridors.”

Building Fiber Optic Network – District of Columbia
The District of Columbia released an RFI for a fiber optic communications network for the district DOT, which will allow them to install more CCTV cameras, vehicle detectors and other advanced intelligent transportation systems devices.

Smart Streetlights – City of Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh, a leader in smart city adoption, is accepting submissions of information on smart streetlights to provide “A more efficient and equitable lighting system.”

Raleigh Bike Share – City of Raleigh, VA
The City of Raleigh has released a bid for installing, launching and operating a bike share system primarily in the city’s downtown area, including at least 300 bikes and 30 stations/hubs.

Future Leads in Budgets and Spending Plans
Companies interested in selling smart products or services can get the most foresight by finding potential projects within agency budgets and capital spending plans. These projects were found in Onvia’s B2GIS and provide vendors with forward visibility to make more strategic decisions. On the agency side, the same information offers a look into the spending areas that local officials are beginning to budget for over the coming months and years.

Fiber to the Premises – City of Beverly Hills, CA
The City of Beverly Hills has budgeted $32 million through 2020 for designing, building and implementing a high-speed, fiber optic network connection for residents and businesses in the community.

Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Program – City of Knoxville, TN
Knoxville has included $5.5 million in its budget through 2022 for planning and building bicycle lanes, as well as providing a “framework of physical infrastructure improvements” to make the city a better, safer place to bike.

Water System Improvements – City of Stockton, CA
Stockton’s Capital Improvement Plan contains approximately $2 million for water system improvements, including upgrading water meters to allow for wireless transmission of meter readings.

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.