Kansas City Missouri Transformed into Smart City

Kansas City, Missouri Transformed into Smart City

May 18, 2016
The city's new program  includes 125 “smart” streetlights, 25 interactive kiosks to engage citizens and 50 blocks of free outdoor public Wi-Fi. 

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. 

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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