Kansas City Publishes First “Smart City” Data, Helping Cities Worldwide Improve Performance to encourage technology innovators

Kansas City is most connected city in North America, with sensors, kiosks and Wi-Fi to engage citizens and increase efficiency

Kansas City, Missouri, shared the first compilation of Smart City data with leaders from 18 cities, two countries and five federal agencies – explaining how strategic analysis and application of this big data will be used to improve city performance.

Nine months ago, Kansas City rolled out its Smart City initiative along with a new two-mile KC Streetcar system downtown. The $15 million technology investment, which includes free public Wi-Fi across 50 square blocks downtown, 125 “smart” streetlights and interactive kiosks to engage citizens, currently makes Kansas City the most connected city in North America. The Smart City program includes smart sensors that collect big data, in real time, to help the city operate more efficiently.

“The Smart City sensors and digital tools are cool, but understanding how to use these tools, and the data that they generate, bridges the gap between cool and smart,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

The public can see a real-time visualization of the data on a map that shows available parking, traffic flow, pedestrian hotspots, and the location of KC Streetcars. As KC’s Smart City infrastructure expands, the city will use big data to drive decisions that save taxpayer money through more efficient repairs and maintenance of streets, water lines and other infrastructure.

The City owns the data and will soon migrate it to the City’s Open Data Catalog. It is being introduced via a platform operated by Xaqt, a technology firm working with the City to display the data.

“We’ve been testing the quality of the data collected through our Smart City infrastructure,” said Kansas City’s Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett. “Now we will put it to work to benefit Kansas City residents.”

Kansas City published the data while co-hosting a national workshop with Think Big Partners and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Kansas City’s methods for operationalizing big data, protecting personal privacy and using the data to solve city problems is expected to help the federal government set national standards and best practices for big data use.

“The Smart City program is one more reason why talented Millennials and progressive, industry-leading companies are relocating to Kansas City’s downtown area,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “Kansas City is a leader in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, a model for other cities around the world.”

Source: Kansas City Area Development Council

Illustration Photo: Kansas City, Missouri, USA (credits:
Zach Werner / Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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