The former Obama Administration had noticed a problem in the U.S. – people don’t feel inclined to invest in infrastructure.
This, coupled with the fact that mass infrastructure and technology upgrades are needed across the country, has led the government to recently launch a new “smart cities” initiative, which will offer funding and cost-effective solutions to growing cities all over the U.S. and perhaps eventually will be replicated worldwide.
On 17 September 2015, Leon Kaye reported on Triple Pundit:
This week, the Obama administration announced a new smart cities initiative that promises $160 million in federal grants to help cities find new solutions to timeless problems. The total amount is coming from a bevy of federal agencies — which either signals greater collaboration, or a turf war. The agencies involved include the National Science Foundation; the departments of Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Projects that will be funded range from a “research infrastructure” for smart cities to funds for health care, public safety, transport and climate preparedness. Critical to the implementation of these programs will be a partnership with the research initiative MetroLab. Based in Pittsburgh, the organization is an alliance of 20 metropolitan areas and 25 universities that are focused on the research, development, and implementation of technologies that can enable communities to leverage technology so that they can become more efficient and sustainable.
These programs are an expansion of what the White House claims is a locally-based and technology-focused approach to help cities deal with growth and infrastructure challenges. Along with the federal monies to be dispersed, the White House also announced a variety of public-private programs that are underway to assist cities in coping with issues related to economic growth, water, energy, and waste.
It will be interesting to see how different cities use this extra funding and whether crucial infrastructure upgrades will now be able to take priority in the many US cities grappling with infrastructure management and renewal issues.
PHOTO CREDIT: Brooklyn Bridge NYC 2015 by Gord McKenna via Flickr Creative Commons License.