The leading smart cities use emerging technologies and innovation to make their cities more livable and offer new services and economic opportunities.
IDC’s fifth annual North America Smart City Awards have officially been announced, with winners across 14 categories. The awards recognize the progress made in aspects of digital transformation. This year, IDC selected winners specifically for their foresight and effectiveness in using the technology to meet citizen needs.
When it announced the winners, IDC noted: “Smart Cities catalyze the digital transformation of urban ecosystems to produce systemic environmental, financial, and social outcomes. Smart Cities are, by definition, focused on using emerging technologies and innovation to make cities more livable and offer new services and economic opportunities. The cities and communities in North America have made significant strides in Smart Cities by leveraging technology and aligning services with the needs and expectations of residents.”
One noticeable trend: This year, like recent past years, brings newer, bigger projects—a change from the early days of small pilots and implementations. Quite a few winners are also smaller than the big metropolises famous for implementing innovative new technologies. Some of this year’s winners in different categories include:
- Schenectady, New York: Winner of the Administration category for its project, Community Officials Data Exchange CODE
- Miramar, Florida: Winner of NextGen Emergency Services category for its project, Miramar records management system.
- Brownsville, Texas: Winner of Digital Equity and Accessibility for citywide initiatives
- Morrisville, North Carolina: Winner of a Smart Water category (alongside Santa Ana, CA) for its project, Connected Parks Initiative
- St. Petersberg, Florida: Winner of Urban Planning and Land Use for its project, Smart Intersection—Vision Zero.
Smart city awards include public voting
The awards recognize the advancements cities of all kinds have made in leveraging technology to improve the quality of services and reduce adverse outcomes of disruptions like the recent pandemic. Cities have had to change the way they think of technology, and many are already on their way to using these cutting-edge solutions to change the lives of their citizens.
Whether it’s addressing Vision Zero, weather events, or unusual disruptions like Covid-19, technology can help make cities smarter and safer for citizens while addressing growing concerns like climate change.