The 2019 Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge

Accelerate your smart city progress

The third annual Smart Cities Readiness Challenge is open for applications — and you don’t have to win to be a winner!
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How to enter (and how to win)

Click to get access to an online application you can fill in at your own pace… just be sure to push the Submit button no later than January 18, 2019. And remember… your application will be judged not on the quality of what you’ve done so far, but on the value of what you want to do next. What you want to do is more important than what you have done. Simply demonstrate a clear vision and an ecosystem of stakeholders and community partners. We’re looking for smart city projects that are cross-cutting, impactful, and inclusive. (See what it takes by reviewing our 2017 and 2018 winners.)
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Why you should enter

Your city gains valuable benefits starting the moment you open your application:

  1. Access to best practices. The application process is almost like a smart cities workshop. Knowledge resources coach you on best practices as you go along.
  2. Access to the Smart Cities Project Activator, an online tool to help you plan, manage, and finance your smart city projects.
  3. Access to other cities to share lessons learned and expand your peer network (begins H1 2019).
  4. Access to financing to explore alternative business models and financing options (begins H1 2019).

 These four benefits continue whether or not you win.

If you are one of the five winners, you’ll get a full-year Readiness Program, including mentoring, an outcome-oriented Readiness Workshop in your city, a Readiness Roadmap based on your priorities, plus regular progress calls and follow-on workshops. Winners also receive nationwide publicity as a great place to live and work, plus travel scholarships to Smart Cities Week twice per year to continue your learning. To top it off, winners also get access to financiers who can structure public/private partnerships and other forms of alternative financing.
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 Who can enter

The 2019 Readiness Challenge is open to all levels of government in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, regardless of size, including townships, cities, counties, states, provinces, and territories. Also eligible are regional authorities (transit, ports, airports) and regional collaborations such as utility-city and university-city partnerships. Even innovation districts and smart developments can apply.
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 When to enter

The sooner you open your application the sooner you get the benefits described above. You can fill in your answers at your own pace. The application is not long and can be completed in about one day — providing you have talked to key stakeholders, articulated a smart cities vision, and identified at least three potential projects. Past winners have found that preparation requires a few weeks of data gathering.

The application period closes January 18, 2019. Winners will be announced in spring 2019.
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