Kansas City’s smart city creds are on the national stage.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology selected Kansas City as the first city to host a national conference that encourages collaboration and establishes standards for smart cities.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Think Big Partners and the City of Kansas City, Mo. will host Global City Teams Challenge SuperCluster Workshop on City Platform. With discussions on data collection, smart city challenges and working on corporate partners, the workshop is expecting about 100 officials from around the nation. Local speakers include Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Think Big managing partner Herb Sih, KCMO chief innovation officer Bob Bennett and innovation analyst Kate Garman.
Kansas City officially kicked off its smart city project in May of 2016. The $15.7 million public-private project aims to transform Kansas City’s downtown into a living lab of Wi-Fi connectivity on and around the 2.2-mile streetcar line. Via a Sprint Wi-Fi network stretching more than 50 square blocks in downtown, the project will provide a variety of information to citizens while also collecting data on their behavior in downtown.
The project is a collaboration between Kansas City, Sprint, Cisco and Think Big Partners. Kansas City signed an agreement with Sprint and Cisco in June to create the largest smart city in North America with the intention to improve municipal services.
NIST smart city director Dr. Sokwoo Rhee chose Kansas City because it’s becoming a leader in civic data and smart city technologies, Bob Bennett said. The workshop’s format launched in October and similar NIST events will be held in Portland, Atlanta and Washington D.C. this month.
Bennett said that the conference signifies the success of the city’s smart city initiative. He’s hopeful that the conference will further the project’s momentum.
“This conference will allow the city to add the expertise of smart city practitioners from 16 other smart cities, five federal agencies and two other countries who encounter the same governance challenges we face and refine our current data sets and analysis platforms,” Bennett said.
To learn more about the workshop, click here. Or to learn more about the city’s smart city effort, click here.