Though the big American metropolises often hog the smart city headlines, a new study found that U.S. mid-sized cities are the true technology leaders.
A new study into U.S. smart city activity demonstrated that mid-sized cities were filling the pipeline with the most urban technology projects.
The survey of 54 American cities was produced by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) in conjunction with IHS Markit.
The research found that of the 335 smart city projects currently underway, 168 are in mid-sized cities, 98 in small cities and only 69 are ongoing in large cities.
Meanwhile, the study found 459 smart city projects were planned for the future. Of those, 225 were slated for mid-size cities, 131 for small cities, and just 103 were planned for the big cities.
“This survey highlights that cities across the country are implementing smart city projects to improve efficiency and increase government response to citizens,” said Mick Cornett , Mayor of Oklahoma City and President of USCM. “We think this is a movement that will continue to grow,” he said.
Plain old governance ideas trump new fancy tech
And though fancy LED lights and connected kiosks seem to be the most frequent futuristic projects in the news, it is in fact governance projects that top functional smart city initiatives, with 86 projects implemented.
Governance is followed by mobility and transport, with 74 implemented projects and physical infrastructure with 59.
“As mayors we have a unique perspective on the challenges facing our communities and the role that technology can play in solving them,” said Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco. “We must continue to explore and harness the newest technologies to help make our cities smarter, safer and more efficient, and improve the quality of life for all our residents.”
And the importance of improving quality of life was reflected in the survey findings. The top priorities for smart city projects in America were increasing citizen satisfaction and improving government responsiveness.