Columbus Leads the Way for Smart Cities, Downtown
T his is the second article in a three-part series that recaps the Chamber’s recent InterCity Visit to Columbus, Ohio. While Columbus and Oklahoma City share many similarities, Columbus’s model of success and growth is one from which Oklahoma City can learn. Read on for more about Columbus, and access the first article in the October issue of The POINT! at www.okcchamber.com/point. Building the Smart City of Tomorrow Out of 78 cities from 35 states, Columbus won the nation’s first smart cities challenge from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and with it $50 million to put their plan into action. The challenge asked mid-sized cities to develop ideas for an integrated transportation system that would use technology to help
people and goods move more quickly and efficiently. Columbus’s smart cities plan is being implemented in four districts: a residential area, a commercial area, in downtown Columbus, and in an area dominated by logistics. All four have distinct challenges but will follow the same implementation plan. The plan includes making no-regret, foundational investments––things like sharing data between transit providers and modernizing the traffic grid. The next phase includes testing autonomous vehicles and smart logistics platooning. Finally, Columbus’s smart cities team plans to tackle the ultimate culture shift that must take place for these things to be adopted citywide. While Columbus is only just beginning to implement its plan, it has already resulted in $500 million in private investment, with an eventual goal of $1 billion.
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