7 Cities Competing for $50M ‘Smart City Challenge’ Award

The Department of Transportation created the competition to fund research and development into Smart City projects.

AUSTIN, Texas – Back in December, the Department of Transportation unveiled a $50 million contest to make cities smarter. Turns out this has become a very heated competition among qualified municipalities across the nation. More than 75 cities submitted proposals, with 300 companies vying to get involved through those different cities as well.

Check out this video for a quick overview of the competition:

When announcing the program, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the country was influenced around a “bottom-up” transportation system and deemed the contest a way to take advantage of the nation’s urban labs.

To that end, the Smart City Challenge endeavors to bestow $40 million to a midsized city that can “implement bold, data-driven ideas by making transportation safer, easier and more reliable.” The department’s launch partner, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., is ponying up another $10 million to the winning city to support electric vehicle deployment and other carbon emission reduction strategies.

Finalists were announced March 12 at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase being held during the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

“The level of excitement and energy the Smart City Challenge has created around the country far exceeded our expectations,” Foxx said. “After an overwhelming response – 78 applications total – we chose to select seven finalists instead of five because of their outstanding potential to transform the future of urban transportation.”

The competition now moves onto a second phase with each of the seven finalists receiving a $100,000 grant to further develop their proposals. To view a list of the finalists, along with a brief description of their proposal, go here.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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