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Obama Gives $80 Million to Smart Cities

The Obama administration awarded $80 million in investments in smart city initiatives that have innovative ways to protect the environment, update transportation, increase public safety, and transform city services.

The number of participating cities has doubled since September 2015, when the White House first launched the Smart Cities Initiative, exceeding 70 communities.

Two coalitions and $15 million in funding will help cities engage in energy and climate issues. The Department of Energy has recruited 1,800 buildings that have pledged to use their data analytics tools to reduce their carbon footprint by 8 percent.

Also, $15 million will go toward updating urban transportation. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research on how autonomous vehicles could work on a connected system to make transportation more efficient and safe.

The administration is giving $10 million for public safety, resilience, and disaster response. The Department of Homeland Security is funding flood sensors in Texas that will give first responders the ability to issue warnings and respond to flooded areas more quickly.

MetroLab Network created a tool that assesses when city departments effectively help homeless people transition to permanent housing.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is supporting smart cities by encouraging technical progress in the Internet of Things (IoT). NIST is giving $350,000 in grants to cities for interoperable solutions that address air pollution, flood prediction, rapid emergency response, and improved citizen services.

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is releasing a tool kit to help cities use public and private partnerships to support smart cities.

The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program is creating a task force to develop a draft strategy for interagency cooperation on smart cities and a resource guide to Federal smart city programs.

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