Here are 10 finalists vying for U.S. smart cities grant program

Ten American cities have been shortlisted for the Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Grant program, the winners of which will be announced next week.

The Smart Cities Council has released a short list of cities that will be competing for the grant program.

Winning cities have access to smart city-related offerings such as: professional services; best practices advice; expertise from leading smart cities technology providers; and a chance to learn from peer cities.

The five winning cities will also get readiness workshops tailored to their smart technology needs. The winning cities will be announced February 8.

“We’ve received tremendous interest from cities of all sizes across the United States and we’ve narrowed it down to an exceptional pool of ten finalists,” said Jesse Berst, Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. “Each finalist demonstrated a comprehensive approach to smart cities implementation that will significantly advance their livability, workability, sustainability and resilience.”

This competition follows the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge for $50 million which Columbus, Ohio won last summer.

Though the monetary stakes may not be as high this time, the competition for the Smart Cities Council grants has been no less fierce. The competition, which was open to U.S. cities with populations over 100,000, generated applications from a whopping 133 cities.

From coast to coast

Of these applications, the following ten municipalities were chosen as finalists after undergoing interviews to determine where each would focus their smart city projects.

Austin, Texas indicated that it would focus its smart city efforts on energy, telecommunications and transportation.

Birmingham, Ala. said its key focus would be on the built environment, energy and transportation.

The application of Chula Vista, Calif., launched in conjunction with San Diego, emphasized smart city projects that targeted energy, telecommunications and transportation.

Indianapolis stated it would highlight smart initiatives around energy, transportation, water and wastewater.

Jersey City, NJ partnered with Hoboken in a bid that targeted transportation, waste management, water and wastewater.

Miami focused its application on the built environment, telecommunications and public safety.

Newport News, Va. chose to emphasize a smart strategy that focused on transportation, public safety, water and wastewater.

Orlando, Fla. Teamed up with Orange County in a bid that centered on the built environment, transportation and public safety.

Philadelphia focused its application on the built environment, telecommunications, water and wastewater.

Lastly, Providence, RI chose to emphasize the built environment, transportation and basic public services in its bid.

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