The City of Kansas City, Mo., has signed an agreement with Sprint and Cisco to create the largest smart city in North America in the City of Fountains.
Sprint will be building a network of connectivity worth up to $7 million dollars while Cisco will be providing smart city infrastructure worth upwards of $5 million. The Kansas City Council approved in April roughly $3.7 million to spend on the project, bringing the total cost of the Smart City effort to more than $15.7 million.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James said that the project is an open invitation to innovators from around the world to test various technologies on Kansas City’s smart city framework. James previously challenged entrepreneurs in Kansas City to develop smart city technology that will save the city and its taxpayers money, including efficiencies for Kansas City’s troubled sewer system.
“This is an invitation to the entire world to come to Kansas City to see what we’re doing, participate in it, bring ideas and test them out,” James said. “We expect to have more people from around the country and world for cultural tourism to take advantage of all the things that we have to offer, and to bring their knowledge, ideas and thoughts on innovation to Kansas City to play with what we’ve got so we can build on what they bring to us and continue to build our infrastructure. This sets us apart from other cities.”
Kansas City hopes the project will be complete in conjunction with its streetcar line and ahead of the 2016 Men’s Big 12 Basketball Tournament in March. Kansas City is now soliciting nominations to serve on the Smart City Advisory Board.
Kansas City announced the smart city project in the summer of 2014. The city already has developed a prototype of digital kiosks that will be placed along the streetcar line in downtown Kansas City. The city expects more than 20 digital kiosks to be placed around downtown that will provide information on city services and real time information from smart city sensors.
Kansas City has installed smart lighting in its downtown with which it expects to save millions of dollars. The city will spend $1.5 million on smart traffic lighting throughout downtown provided by Lenexa-based Rhythm Engineering.
“It’s extremely important to become the first city on the North American continent to be engaged in the smart city approach,” James said. “This is another indication and example of how Kansas City stands out from the rest of the pack. … This is one more feather in our cap that makes us special.”