Kansas City is joining four other cities worldwide as an IEEE Core Smart City, opening yet another door to breakthrough technology opportunities.
Kansas City joins Casablanca, Morocco; Guadalajara, Mexico; Trento, Italy, and Wuxi, China.
“Joining this elite group of technologically driven cities is both a recognition of our achievements to date and a signal of greater things to come,” Mayor Sly James said. “Kansas City is well-positioned for explosive growth, and being an IEEE Core Smart City will boost that impact on our economy, our city government, our schools and all our citizens.”
The Core Smart City designation means Kansas City joins an elite community of practice that shares successes, lessons learned and best practices more broadly and enable the city to amplify its expanding leadership in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technology.
Universities are also a critical component in the overall design and development of smart cities providing research and advanced curriculum design in emergent technologies, computer science, big data, data privacy and security, community informatics and MOOC development.
“UMKC is proud to be working with the City of Kansas City to make this happen,” Leo Morton, Chancellor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, said. “Two of our academic units, the School of Computing & Engineering and the School of Law, working together to support the scientific, technical, social and legal aspects of the Smart Cities Initiative.”
Project representatives of the five cities are gathering Sunday through Wednesday at an integration workshop in Guadalajara for the first IEEE Smart City Conference. Representatives will discuss the interaction of sensing technology, citizen engagement, quality of life, manufacturing efficiency, economic development and environmental sustainability.
Kansas City was selected in part because it has demonstrated plans to invest human and financial capital into its Smart City initiative, which was announced in June. The initiative is ramping up under the guidance of a Smart City Advisory Board appointed by James. The Kansas City Smart City initiative, which has the goal of improving city operations and other public and private experiences through the integration of leading edge technologies.
Kansas City’s combination of world-class Smart City infrastructure and strategic, human-centered planning and capacity is already a model for cities across the country. Public-private agreements made with Google Fiber, Cisco, Sprint and others have given the city a platform for innovation and creativity.
The city has leveraged these platforms to create Kansas City’s Digital Playbook and KC Digital Drive; create a Digital Roadmap for the city; begin developing a robust digital inclusion plan; and support an entrepreneurially focused Living Lab with Think Big Partners.
The Core Smart City initiative with IEEE creates an opportunity and rallying point to identify specific areas of inquiry and development for Kansas City’s growing smart city initiatives and the community and includes the creation of tools (white papers, online classes, and conferences) to highlight the city’s expertise.
KC Digital Drive leads the organization of this effort with the city in collaboration with Think Big Partners, UMKC and the IEEE Kansas City Section. A workshop is planned for February 2016.
The city will be working to define thematic areas of focus, including education, entrepreneurship, regionalism, public safety, and economic mobility, to build the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative project in Kansas City in alignment with our Digital Roadmap.
IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is a worldwide leader on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.