Earlier this month, Kansas City, Mo. unveiled its Smart City initiative that will enable the city to use real-time data to deliver basic services more efficiently.
The program includes 125 “smart” streetlights, 25 interactive kiosks, and 50 blocks of free outdoor public Wi-Fi.
“This effort helps us connect to 21st century citizens in 21st century ways, understand our city better through use of big data and enable city leaders to prevent problems instead of just solving them,” explained Bob Bennett, Kansas City’s chief innovation officer, announcing the rollout.
Sprint, in collaboration with Cisco, constructs, owns and manages the intelligent Wi-Fi network, which connects to a broad range of smart city applications.
The changes are happening first along the 2.2-mile downtown streetcar line. Wi-Fi connectivity along the KC Streetcar route will help enable smart lighting, digital kiosks and sensor technology. Smart lighting will reduce power consumption and enables better tracking of total energy used. Additionally, kiosks at KC Streetcar platforms and locations around downtown will provide new ways to access city services information as well as information about local businesses and events.
A $15.7 million public-private partnership was formalized in June 2015 when Kansas City signed a strategic agreement with Cisco Systems, Inc. and its partners to develop the most comprehensive smart city network in North America. Cisco was attracted to the city because of its emerging technology sector, the investment in transit infrastructure, and the advent of Google’s 1 Gigabit Fiber service.
The city is hoping to attract technology startups from across the globe as a result of the iving Lab partnership between Cisco and Think Big Partners which will connect entrepreneurs to smart city data.