Smart Cities Council and 2017 Challenge Grant winner Indianapolis gather community partners to plot next steps in Indy’s smart city journey

This information provided by Smart Cities Council North America.

Mayor Joe Hogsett calls it a day of “big ideas and big thoughts” that will ensure Indianapolis continues to progress with passion and innovation throughout the 21st Century

INDIANAPOLIS (July 20, 2017) When Indianapolis was named one of five winning cities in the Smart Cities Council’s inaugural Challenge Grant program, the city already had some enviable strategic advantages -- an active and engaged partner ecosystem, an expanding tech industry and a long-term vision for strengthening infrastructure.

How to connect all the dots and plan next steps was the focus of a full-day Challenge Grant workshop that city leaders and the Smart Cities Council held July 18. The event was hosted by Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, with Chancellor Nasser Paydar welcoming the audience of 120 regional stakeholders and Smart Cities Council vendor-partners.

“We've seen such an impressive investment in Indianapolis from a technology perspective over the past 10 years that has really revolutionized where we are,” Ken Clark, Chief Information Officer, Indianapolis and Marion County Information Services Agency told workshop participants. “I think there's a lot of excitement about what the city could do to enable that growth and be a good steward of that technology.”

Attendees broke into working groups to discuss initiatives related to energy and the environment, mobility, water, public safety, and overall smart cities enabling technologies. The working groups came up with both short- and long-term suggestions that they presented to the city for consideration in the Indianapolis Smart Cities Action Plan. Among them: 

  •     Conducting a citywide data inventory to uncover areas of duplication and to suggest ways of collecting new data to fill in any gaps
  •     Using that data to improve public safety and better address the needs of underserved residents
  •     Develop and app police and firefighters can use to find appropriate social services and assistance for members of the public they encounter who need help – for instance with access to food or paying a utility bill
  •     Develop reporting standards to track the city’s progress on its goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and consider centralized management of public buildings and electrifying the bus fleet to help meet the goal

“This has been a fascinating day full of big ideas and big thoughts,” Mayor Joe Hogsett told participants. “These conversations and strategies will ensure that Indianapolis continues to progress throughout the 21st century. I take heart knowing we are moving forward with passion, with conviction and determination, but we are also moving forward innovatively.”

During the event, Smart Cities Council partner companies put on a Solutions Showcase highlighting advanced technologies that are helping cities around the world become more livable, workable and sustainable.

In addition to the workshop, as a Challenge Grant winner Indianapolis will also receive supporting products and services from Council partner companies and advisors including Ameresco, AT&T, CH2M, CompTIA, Dow Building and Construction, IDC, Qualcomm, Sensus, Telit, TM Forum and Transdev.

"Indianapolis is an innovative city committed to inclusion, effective government services and data-driven decision making,” said Council Chief Scientist Stuart Cowan, who coordinates the Challenge Grant program. “The Council looks forward to long-term engagement with the city as it implements a range of smart cities initiatives."

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About Smart Cities Challenge Grants
In September 2016, the Smart Cities Council launched its first Readiness Challenge Grant. In addition to Indianapolis, the winning cities included Austin, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia. The Council will be working with the winning cities throughout 2017. The 2018 Challenge Grant program will launch in October during Smart Cities Week in Washington, D.C.

About Smart Cities Council
The Smart Cities Council is comprised of the foremost experts and leading global companies in the smart technologies sector, who serve as advisors and resources. Its goal is to accelerate the growth of smart cities worldwide by providing city leaders with access to technology counsel, financial tools, policy frameworks, visibility campaigns, and advocacy. For more information, visit http://www.smartcitiescouncil.com.