The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several partners will kick off a year-long Global City Teams Challenge to help communities around the world work together to address issues ranging from air quality to traffic management to emergency services coordination. NIST invites communities and innovators to create teams that will foster the spread of "smart cities" that take advantage of networked technologies to better manage resources and improve quality of life.
The challenge will kick off September 29-30, 2014 with a two-day workshop that will bring together city planners and representatives from technology companies, academic institutions and non-profits. The challenge is open to participants around the world, and international representatives will be able to participate in the kick-off meeting via webcast.
This new challenge will leverage the success of the SmartAmerica Challenge, which from Dec. 2013 through June 2014 brought together more than 100 companies, universities and other organizations to form teams that developed and applied networked technologies. That challenge demonstrated that these technologies have the potential to create jobs and business opportunities and provide socio-economic benefits.
Smart cities rely on effective networking of computer systems and physical devices. These Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber-physical systems (CPS) currently account for more than $32 trillion in global economic activity, a number that is projected to grow as they bring improvements to health care, advanced manufacturing and a host of other industries.
To support the challenge, NIST has teamed with US Ignite, a nonprofit focused on the creation of next-generation Internet applications that provide transformative public benefit. US Ignite will host the website where communities and technology innovators can sign up to create teams that will focus on particular smart city goals and challenges. Partners in the challenge will include the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services, and, from the private sector, Intel, IBM and ARM Holdings, which work in these technology areas.
Examples of current smart city projects include the following:
- San Jose, Calif., and Intel are developing an air quality sensor network to capture real-time air quality and noise information;
- Honolulu and IBM are providing transparent access to city data, encouraging better government-public dialog;
- The Cleveland Connected Collaboration Corridor (4Cs) links four of the city's districts to support educational, residential and medical IoT projects through OneCommunity's fiber optic network;
- Spain's Barcelona is creating kiosks that allow residents to remotely manage waste pickup, find parking spaces, and access other services.