Smart Cities Solutions

How can I make neighborhoods safer in my city?

At the core of many smart public safety solutions is “intelligence” -- information that hints at the identity of a criminal or where a wildfire is likely to occur. This collection of articles and resources highlight the importance of data gathering, data sharing and data analytics, along with the use of mobile apps, sensors and facial recognition software to make cities safer. Scroll to the bottom for financing ideas.


Philadelphia says smart policing  lowered crime rates
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has fewer officers patrolling the streets, yet crime is down thanks to the city’s efforts to collect and analyze data. MORE>

A day without serious crime? Cities reap real benefits from predictive policing
Learn how police are leveraging analytics and data so they know where crimes are most likely to occur and can assign officers accordingly. MORE>

Facial recognition technology helps nab first Chicago robber
The use of facial recognition technology is growing rapidly and enabling police to identify suspects from surveillance footage as well as live crowds. MORE>

Technology helps police find the elusive Striped Hoodie Bandit
Advanced data sharing services are helping police search other agencies' records for distinctive features about individuals, cases or trends. MORE>

How Durham, N.C. fights crime with data – and wins
A North Carolina police department cut violent gun crime by nearly half, and did it without additional police officers or sweeping surveillance. MORE>

Can free apps keep drunk drivers off your streets?
Read about smartphone apps that can help drivers determine if they are impaired by alcohol and empower others to report drunk drivers. MORE>

London tests pedestrian sensors to make crossing streets safer
The agency that manages transport services across London is testing a system that uses "intelligent" pedestrian crossing sensors to help make it easier and safer for people to cross city streets. MORE>

Want safer cities? It may be as simple as sharing data
An article in Emergency Management explains how improving communications between law enforcement agencies is being used to distribute critical information to law enforcement in Denver’s neighboring communities. MORE>

4 ways technology can make your city safer right now
This article points to four ways employing technology and leveraging information can enhance public safety in cities. MORE>

Case studies

Thai Law Enforcement Agency Optimizes Investigations with Big Data Solution
The Department of Special Investigation in Thailand implemented a big data solution to give investigating officers self-service business intelligence tools that shortened criminal case investigation time from two years to 15 days. MORE>

Innovation Improves Efficiency and Quality of Municipal Services
Automatic meter reading technology deployed in Rock Hill, S.C. allows city police officers to spend two more hours per day in the field. MORE>


Big Data and Analytics Help Durham Police Reduce Crime
Analytics technology helped the Durham, N.C. police department reduce the amount of violent crime in a two square mile region of the city by more than 50% from 2007-2011. MORE>

Integrated Security Systems Help Madrid Become a Safer City
Public officials are turning to automation, smart sensors, analytics, visualization and computational modeling to help make public safety systems smarter. MORE>

Freedom App: Johns Creek, GA Police Department
Johns Creek, Georgia police officials discuss a mobile public safety app that gives mission-critical information to authorized smartphones and tablets. MORE>

Smart Cities Council guides

Smart Cities Readiness Guide
The Public Safety chapter of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide examines how generating relevant public safety data can yield intelligence that helps police and first responders protect citizens and businesses. MORE>


Financing resources

Finding the smart technologies that will make cities more livable, workable and sustainable is the easy part. Paying for them is typically more challenging. The resources linked below can help.

How can I improve mobility in my city?

Enhancing mobility and transportation options bring many benefits to a city. Reduced traffic congestion, shorter trip times, improved public safety and less pollution are just a few. This collection of articles and resources spotlight trends and some of the smart solutions cities are deploying to enhance urban mobility. Scroll to the bottom of the page for financing ideas.


Road congestion: Can your city afford to do nothing?
Read about some innovative ideas – pop-up buses among them – that are helping cities worldwide in their battles against traffic congestion. MORE>

Drive-by transportation wisdom for smarter cities
See what a wide range of public and private experts -- from Qualcomm, MasterCard, Tesla, MBTA, CDOT, Getaround and more -- say about today’s mobility challenges and smart ways to overcome them. MORE>

Traffic management system routes smaller cities to lower-cost cloud
Creating a dedicated traffic control center to manage traffic jams and failing lights is often unrealistic for small and mid-size cities. That’s why a new cloud-based mobile solution may interest city traffic managers. MORE>

Battling traffic jams with smarter traffic signals
Learn how today’s traffic management systems are leveraging road-embedded sensors and software systems to more quickly adjust signal timing and, in the process, improve traffic flow. MORE>

Report: Yes, smart parking apps can reduce congestion, pollution and other city woes
Smart parking apps are still in their infancy, but there’s new evidence they can indeed reduce traffic congestion, driver frustration, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. MORE>

Smart transportation 2025: Here's a sneak peek (see if your city's on track)
ABI Research explains why smart cities technologies -- and intelligent transportation services (ITS) in particular -- will become key policy areas for local governments. MORE>

Rail advances make it a better piece of a smart mobility package
Public officials tend to agree that piecemeal approaches won't solve transportation challenges; that there is no single solution. Learn why cities might consider rail as an option in their overall mobility package. MORE>

A remote control for cities? MasterCard and Cubic have a plan
Learn how a mobile digital payment solution promises to enhance urban transportation systems and, in the process, make public transportation more appealing to commuters than driving a car. MORE>

Cabbies vs. rideshare firms: Does your city have a game plan?
Rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber provide an innovative alternative to moving people around cities. Read how some cities are dealing with the questions and controversy surrounding rideshare firms.  MORE>

Ropits: a driverless car for short-distance transport
A self-driving car designed for use on pavement and footpaths is one of several approaches car makers have come up with to reduce accidents and ease traffic congestion. MORE>

How innovative e-mobility initiatives drive more sustainable cities
Learn how governments worldwide are promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs) for the environmental, economic and energy security benefits they provide. MORE>

Cars you want for your city: Mercedes moves EVs to the mainstream
Mercedes-Benz has found a way to put its ultra-low-emission electric drive and batteries into a "standard" vehicle that can be assembled on the same production line as internal combustion models. MORE>

Case studies

Improving Traffic Management Operations in Bilbao
Leaders wanted to make Bilbao in Northern Spain a better place to live by promoting public transport, more efficient urban freight improvement, deployment of smart mobility services and by making traffic and mobility data available to citizens. See how they did it. MORE>

White papers

Intelligent Connectivity for Seamless Urban Mobility
Enabling effective transport of citizens and goods is critical to a city's economic and social vitality, the well-being of its inhabitants and its consumption and emissions footprint. This paper examines the opportunities and challenges. MORE>


The Internet of Everything – the Last Traffic Jam
This brief video is the first installment in a new Cisco ad campaign showcasing how the Internet of Everything is ushering in many firsts, including the last traffic jam. MORE>

Transforming Public Transportation in Kathmandu
Find out in this Microsoft video how Prajwal Rimal and Team Yorbit, a winner of CityApp Kathmandu 2014, developed a vehicle-tracking device and app that are helping transform the public transportation system in Kathmandu. MORE>

Building Dulles: Behind the scenes with Bechtel
Go behind the scenes of the new world-class Silver Line, phase one of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail near Washington, D.C. The new rail line was built by Bechtel-led Dulles Transit Partners and opened in July 2014, connecting to the region’s existing metro system. MORE>

How Mobility Transforms Smart Cities Worldwide
Today's cities can take advantage of mobility to change the way they interact with people. In this video you'll see some of the smart cities that are using mobility to make the Internet of Everything a reality. MORE>

Smart Cities Council guides                        

Smart Cities Readiness Guide
The Transportation chapter of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide provides a comprehensive look at the  benefits and dependencies of bringing smart transportation solutions to cities. MORE>


Financing resources

Finding the smart technologies that will make cities more livable, workable and sustainable is the easy part. Paying for them is typically more challenging. The resources linked below can help.

How can I deliver enough clean water to my city?

Water is essential. It provides sustenance, supports industry and irrigates fields. But cities today struggle to meet demand for clean water amid swelling populations, aging infrastructure and mounting concerns about drought, flooding and water quality. This collection of resources highlight how cities are deploying smart technologies to overcome these challenges. Scroll to the end for financing ideas.


How GIS helps cities stretch limited water supplies
Cities are using geographic information systems to keep better tabs on their water and people who waste it. MORE>

Water authority puts wastewater back to work
Drought forced Australia to get creative about water resources. A new wastewater treatment facility takes treated effluent and makes it suitable for industrial use. MORE>

Cincinnati taps game-changing technologies to solve water challenges
Cincinnati, Ohio's water challenges aren't unique. Its solution may be. It's leveraging M2M cellular technologies for better water quality and resource management. MORE>

Smart command center helps engineers better manage water flow 
A swelling population puts a huge strain on Bangalore, India's water system. With a real-time monitoring system, it can significantly reduce the 45% of water that goes unaccounted for. MORE>

Drought drives Texas town to a toilet-to-tap water reuse program
Unprecedented drought conditions have residents of Wichita Falls drinking tap water blended with treated wastewater in one of the biggest direct reuse programs in the U.S. MORE>

Case studies

Yorkshire Water Manages Resources in Real Time to Improve System Reliability
Implementing the OSIsoft PI System helps Yorkshire Water support its planned growth by allowing it to view assets in an integrated way, enabling continuous improvement of operations as a whole. MORE>

Town of Olds Recovers Lost Water Revenue and Achieves Conservation Goals
Just months after deploying Itron technology that automatically detects new and pre-existing leaks, 21 were repaired, 287,691 cubic meters of water recovered and $177,336 in revenue saved by the Canadian town. MORE>

Jerusalem and Netanya Water Utilities Monitor Water Networks in Near Real Time
By proactively monitoring their networks with Aquarius Spectrum technology, two Israeli water utilities take the guesswork out of maintenance budgets and avoid unexpected and costly pipe bursts. MORE>

Bethpage Water District Upgrades for Better System Visibility
Bethpage Water District wanted to gain better system visibility, improve customer service and boost efficiency. Badger Meter's Advanced Metering Analytics met and exceeded expectations. MORE>

Lead and Drinking Water: Protecting Vulnerable Citizens
After a study found that running a home's water tap did not always flush out unacceptable levels of lead, the Community Geomatics Centre analyzed data from local agencies to resolve the issue. MORE>


IBM Smarter Cities Water Management
IBM's Intelligent Water Platform enables insight and control over water management so water utilities can predict pipe failures, manage water loss and reduce costs. MORE>

The Customer Benefits of Smart Water Networks
Smart water technologies provide innovative solutions in customer metering, leakage detection, energy management, pressure management and water quality monitoring. MORE>

Using Cellular Technology to Improve Water Management
Applying cellular technology -- similar to that used in smartphones -- in water management systems can improve water quantity, quality and cost. MORE>

White papers

M2M Communication Platforms for Building Intelligent Water Systems
Improved sensor technologies, firmware applications, data analytics tools and embedded machine-to-machine communication and processing platforms open up new opportunities for utilities. MORE >

Smart Cities Council guides

Smart Cities Readiness Guide
The Readiness Guide's Water and Wastewater chapter gives cities tools to apply smart technology for an economical and sustainable water supply. It explains benefits cities can achieve by increasing the intelligence of their water systems and the technologies that will help them realize those benefits. MORE> 

Financing resources

Finding the smart technologies that will make cities more livable, workable and sustainable is the easy part. Paying for them is typically more challenging. The resources linked below can help.


How can I reduce energy use in my city?

Smart energy solutions give citizens, businesses and local government the tools and systems they need to reduce their energy usage and costs. In this collection of articles and resources, you’ll find reports about cities deploying smart street lights, smart grids, intelligent building systems, renewable power plants and other projects designed to use energy more efficiently. Scroll to the end for financing ideas.


8 Spanish cities cut energy consumption by 64% with smart street lighting
Eight Spanish cities reduced electricity consumption by 64% with efficient lights and smart controls at every lighting point. MORE>

Why Fort Collins calls a web app the heart and soul of its smart grid efforts
In Fort Collins, Colorado, the Energy Engage Mobile app enables users to see the current cost of electricity and shift usage to off-peak times to avoid higher energy rates. MORE>

How Envision Charlotte "cracked the code" to energy savings for city businesses
Uptown Charlotte buildings have reduced energy consumption by 8.4% since the public-private partnership known as Envision Charlotte was launched in North Carolina's largest city. MORE>

Ka-ching! Cities see bright future in LED street light savings
Read how cities from San Diego to Detroit -- and smaller ones too -- are moving to budget-friendly LED street lights. MORE>

Power to the people: Let city office workers turn up the heat
When it comes to wasting energy, offices are among the biggest offenders. However, one study suggests giving employees more control could cut energy use by a whopping 30-40%. MORE>

IBM's building whisperer: If we want smarter cities, start with smarter buildings
David Bartlett discusses how buildings work and how they should be managed for maximum sustainability and efficiency. MORE>

FP&L's smart street lighting program becoming one of the world's largest
A massive Florida Power & Light project calls for the utility to install nearly a half-million street lights that are networked and use energy-efficient LED lamps. MORE>

Alstom helps pave the smart grid future at Philly's Navy Yard
The new 10-year Energy Master Plan for Philadelphia’s Navy Yard is helping pave the future path for energy innovation at the massive redevelopment site. MORE>

How flash-charge buses could give smart transportation a lift
A new high-capacity flash charging system for electric buses may pave the way for switching to a more flexible, cost-effective public transport infrastructure while reducing pollution and noise. MORE>

Gainesville got CLEAN – and so can your city
Learn how The Clean Coalition is helping cities such as Gainesville, Florida transition from an outdated energy system built around centralized, fossil-fueled power plants and miles of inefficient transmission lines. MORE>

Itron shows how IoT is changing utilities (and why it's good news for cities)
Learn about a powerful new communications platform designed to help improve the reliability and efficiency of a large power grid in Brazil. MORE>

Is it time to pay attention to hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars?
A research team with the Institute of Transportation Studies contends fuel cell vehicles are still a viable option in the race to build zero-emission automobiles. MORE>  

Why Alstom is helping teach old EV batteries new tricks
The Eco2charge project is testing a charging solution that takes old batteries which once served to power electric vehicles and re-uses them to charge batteries currently installed in the cars. MORE>

Smart street lighting is a key element in smart city programs
Smart street lighting networks provide greater control, reduced maintenance costs and the possibility of integrating street lighting with traffic light controls, security cameras, environmental sensors and more. MORE>

Case studies

Microsoft Brings Smart Buildings to Seattle
A smart buildings pilot for downtown Seattle used big data to provide forecasted energy savings of 10% per year. MORE>

French University Centralizes Facility Management with Wonderware Software
The University of Strasbourg in France, learns how to better manage facility operations for 140 buildings on multiple campuses to save time, money and energy. MORE>

S&C Provides Community Energy Storage to Smooth Solar Power in California
A California utility launches a microgrid project to enhance grid performance and help meet the state’s renewable energy goals. MORE>

Griffin Empowers Residents with Smart Meters
Learn how Griffin, Georgia’s Electric Department gave customers the ability to monitor their electric usage to help manage utility costs when it replaced its aging mechanical meters with smart meters. MORE>

Smart Cities Council guides

Smart Street Lighting 101
Smart Street Lighting 101 offers useful information and brief case studies highlighting the benefits cities are accruing as they move to LEDs and integrated street light networks that can serve as a backbone for other smart city applications. MORE>

Smart Cities Readiness Guide
The Energy chapter of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide examines a variety of energy-saving solutions that cities are embracing -- including smart meters, building energy performance systems, renewable energy generation plants, delivery of real-time consumption data to residents and demand response incentives.  MORE>

Financing resources

Finding the smart technologies that will make cities more livable, workable and sustainable is the easy part. Paying for them is typically more challenging. The resources linked below can help.

How can I accelerate economic development in my city?

Cities that embrace today’s technology trends are attracting businesses, entrepreneurs and workers who thrive in the digital world. In this collection of articles and resources, you’ll discover the various ways technology is enhancing the workability of cities. High-speed Internet connectivity, mobile apps, cloud services and clean energy are among the highlighted solutions. Scroll to the end for financing ideas.


Smarter tourism: What are these cities doing right?
Cities now offer mobile apps that help travelers navigate their streets, interactive bus shelters with smartphone chargers, and readily available bicycles that make it easy to get around. MORE>

Economic development is as close as your smartphone
More and more cities are creating web and mobile applications designed to help citizens find jobs, promote tourism and to boost economic development. MORE>

Hamburg, Germany's big vision: A smart city and a smart port
City officials are developing the Port of Hamburg into a smart port to increase the efficiency of the current infrastructure and quality of services. MORE>

Study links best in class transportation to city economic growth
This article calls attention to The Mobility Opportunity study, which quantifies the economic benefits that investments in transportation can bring cities. MORE>

Want gigabit connectivity now? Here’s how
Super-fast, high-capacity broadband networks are considered essential to economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. This article offers seven ideas for cities eager to establish gigabit connectivity. MORE>

Smart city apps that give local businesses a shout out
Learn about three smart city apps that demonstrate how cities large and small are using smartphone capabilities to promote local businesses. MORE>

"Cities can do these things!" New Bedford mayor tells smart cities forum
Mayor Jon Mitchell of New Bedford, Massachusetts talks about how his city is carving a niche in the nation's green economy -- and the job-creation benefits that come with that. MORE>

How a Mongolian city is using the cloud to get to the future
Tongliao City is taking advantage of cloud computing, networking and other advanced information technologies to help stimulate economic growth in the region. MORE>

Mayor gets serious about video games to build a better Buffalo
Buffalo launched a video game development contest that aims to teach skills that lead to meaningful employment, highlight the importance of workplace diversity and promote the city. MORE>

Case studies

Nice: the first contactless city in France
The French government is promoting contactless payment cards as a faster, more convenient alternative for low-cost purchases. MORE>

City of Charlotte Facilitates Tourism Planning Processes with Event Permitting Solution
Read about a cloud-based solution that supports city tourism by automating and streamlining event permitting. MORE>

Buenos Aires Launches Initiative to Support Investors, Generate Jobs
Buenos Aires officials launch a new department and software solution dedicated to working with businesses that want to locate or relocate in the city. MORE>

City Transforms Economic Sustainability with Public Cloud
South Korea's second largest city deploys a smart solution and public cloud infrastructure to stimulate job creation and business growth. MORE>

A Planning Roadmap for Intelligent Cities: Revitalizing a Commercial District
This case study from URENIO Research focuses on the smart technologies required to foster smart commercial districts and an innovation ecosystem. MORE>


How Smart Cities Will Transform Business
Billions of devices are connecting in the Internet of Things, bringing revolutionary changes to cities. This Fortune Magazine video discusses what it means for business and sustainability. MORE >

Cashless Pioneer Mauro Joppert from Copacabana Beach, Brazil
This video highlights a Rio de Janeiro food kiosk owner whose business was transformed when he was able to accept electronic payments on Copacabana beach. MORE>

White papers

Smart City Framework: A Systematic Process for Enabling Smart+Connected Communities
City leaders and community participants looking for guidance on how to move the smart city discussion into a call for action will find useful advice in this paper. MORE>

Delivering the Vision: Gabon Infrastructure Project
This white paper highlights Bechtel's multi-year partnership with the government of Gabon to support the country’s progressive programs and vision towards economic growth. MORE>

Financing resources

Finding the smart technologies that will make cities more livable, workable and sustainable is the easy part. Paying for them is typically more challenging. The resources linked below can help.