Global recognition bestowed on Montgomery in international Smart Cities competition victory
Montgomery’s Readiness Challenge victory underscores the community’s commitment to leveraging high-tech solutions to enhance quality of life and attract new opportunities
MONTGOMERY – Montgomery last week won the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge competition hosted by the Smart Cities Council thanks to the collective efforts of the City, County, Montgomery Public Schools, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, military partners and Alabama Power Company.
"This is another special moment – a watershed day – for our community signifying our success in capitalizing on the opportunities for growth and economic development that come through the advancement of technology across our city," Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said. "But what's even more important is our resolve to adopt practical high-tech solutions that better serve residents, add to our quality of life and expand access to the tools and technology needed for future success. We are grateful to our partners who raised their hands to join us in this venture."
Montgomery formed a Smart City Committee to steer the application process. Partners included the County, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery Public Schools, Alabama Power Company and members of the defense community at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and the 187th Alabama Air National Guard. Montgomery's application provided an overview of up-and-running projects, like the Smart City Living Lab, Star Watch, Rubicon and Open Data Montgomery, as well as future plans to use technology to impact residents – including providing free Wi-Fi access to all Montgomery students by upgrading infrastructure at local community centers.
“This award underscores recent technology and data-driven initiatives advancing Montgomery as a major player in the Smart City movement,” City IT Manager and Smart City Committee Coordinator Savio Dias said. “It also builds on our current momentum in the Smart City space, carrying it forward into the future through strategic planning.”
While vying with more than 100 major cities—as large and geographically diverse as Dallas, Texas and Jersey City, NJ — Montgomery impressed the Council by demonstrating a concise vision for incorporating innovative data-driven approaches in multiple projects, as well as shoring up efforts to enhance communication and collaboration with its team of regional stakeholders and community partners. Along with four other winners including Baltimore, Maryland; Edmonton, Canada; Racine, Wisconsin and Cleantech San Diego, Montgomery’s submission will bring new resources to help further Montgomery’s high-tech ambitions.
Montgomery will host a Smart Cities Readiness Workshop, which will bring like-minded municipal leaders and private sector innovators to the Capital of Dreams to share ideas and solutions in building the future of cities. The City will also gain free access to the Project Activator Tool, an online platform that lowers risks associated with new technology investments by offering guidelines, reviews and best practices on similar projects. Intangible benefits include higher visibility and credibility as a leader among smart cities. Officials see this as essential to attracting potential job creators and expanding our high-tech workforce.
“Montgomery is maximizing and refining the region’s existing infrastructure and physical and intellectual resources to establish innovation strategies that continue to drive demand for the city as a long-term sustainable location for investment,” Executive Director of TechMGM Charisse Stokes said. “Receiving this honor reinforces our strategy to make Montgomery a smarter place to live and work.”
The Smart Cities Readiness Challenge award marks yet another technology honor achieved for Montgomery this fiscal year. Montgomery earned two Smart 50 Awards from Smart Cities Connect in January and the Digital Cities Survey Award by the Center for Digital Government in November.