The Smart Cities Council awarded the Readiness Challenge Grant on Feb. 8 to Orlando, Miami, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Austin, which gives the cities mentoring opportunities and a workshop in which to develop new IT projects that will best help their populations.

21st Century State & Local checked in with these cities to find out how they plan to use these resources.


Orlando was selected for its commitment to use technology to enhance the experience of tourists as well as residents.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

“By harnessing the power of data throughout the city’s critical infrastructure, we can better understand how our city can be more efficient and intelligent in our decision-making, which will enhance the livability, workability, sustainability, and resilience of Orlando,” said Cassandra Lafser, press secretary for Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We see this as a way to enhance public safety through data-driven analytics and predictive analysis.”

The city plans to use technologies that can provide real-time information on transit systems, availability of parking downtown, environmental factor monitoring, and a network of charging stations for electric vehicles. The city has looked into the deployment of public Wi-Fi, building sensors that measure and control energy efficiency, smart street lights, and smart trash cans.

The city plans to collaborate with University of Central Florida, Florida Polytechnic University, Florida A&M University, NASA Kennedy Space Center, LYNX, Central Florida Expressway Authority, OUC-the Reliable One, Orange County government, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Turnpike Enterprise, Florida Solar Energy Center, MetroPlan, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Harris Corp., VHB, and Metric Engineering.

“We are still developing the comprehensive road map for our smart cities initiative that will determine the specific technologies and networks we will be deploying throughout Orlando,” Lafser said.

– Morgan Lynch

Read More About