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Waterloo is one of five cities in the country to be chosen for a program to become a “smart city” through Honeywell and Accelerator for America.

A smart city is defined as a city that uses technology to provide services and solve city problems for its residents.

Through the program, Waterloo will receive technical support from the organizations to develop a Smart City strategic plan. The plan will align key stakeholders, define priorities and identify high-impact and inclusive initiatives that advance residents’ quality of life in areas such as climate resiliency, public safety, operational efficiency and improved service delivery, according to the organizations.

“Waterloo is ready and hungry to move to the next level in becoming a true smart city,” Mayor Quentin Hart said in an email. “With the innovative technology we already have in place in sanitation, water treatment, traffic operations and other departments, our application and our city stood out.”

Accelerator for America would not say how many cities applied to the program, but the other four cities awarded are Cleveland, Ohio, Kansas City, Mo., Louisville, Ky. and San Diego, Calif.

“Mayor Hart is an impressive, action-oriented leader who works tirelessly to improve opportunities for his city and its residents,” Mary Ellen Wiederwhol, president and CEO of Accelerator for America, said in an email. “His passion and the competency of the entire city team to create and implement strategy for civic innovation was both obvious in the application and has been proven throughout his tenure.”

Honeywell will create a four-track Smart City strategic plan for Waterloo at no cost to the city.

The first track, titled a “Smart City Vision,” identifies priorities and desired outcomes from a set of key stakeholders. The second track will be a guide for managing and supporting Smart City projects.

The third track will define high-impact projects and potential business models to be implemented to achieve the goals set in the vision. The final track will identify tasks and processes to help guide cities through project implementation.

The chosen stakeholders discussed technology goals for the city and have started identifying where they “have the most synergy,” Hart said. He said there will be more meetings over the next month.

“Our goal is not to maintain the status quo,” he said. “Our goal is to propel Waterloo forward as a Smart City leader nationally. The work begins now to build the smart city of tomorrow.”

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Maria Kuiper

Quelle/Source: The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, 14.10.2022

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