Pittsburgh’s mayor said the city is hoping to develop a $100 million smart city war chest by leveraging funds from the federal Smart City Challenge and from the state.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said the city is looking to leverage up to $100 million dollars if Pittsburgh is chosen winner of the Smart City Challenge from a field of seven cities. The challenge was born out of the U.S. government’s increasing interest in developing smart city strategies.
The mayor’s comments came after Pennsylvania’s governor Tom Wolf made a surprise pledge of $11 million in state funds toward implementation of Pittsburgh’s Smart City Challenge should the city win the competition.
Pittsburgh is currently in competition for the U.S. Department of Transport’s Smart Cities Challenge. The winning city will receive $50 million in funding from private and federal government sources for the introduction of new technologies that will improve mobility and transportation.
Peduto said the governor’s unexpected pledge follows earlier support by the Wolf administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Transport which assisted Pittsburgh in preparing its initial application for the Smart Cities Challenge.
“I think they saw this as a way to work to try and bring these kinds of opportunities to other cities throughout Pennsylvania,” Peduto said.
Pittsburgh to leverage public funds with private investors
He said that the $100 million smart city fund will include the $50 million from the Smart City Challenge, $11 million from the state as well as additional funding from corporate and foundation sources.
“The funding would support the city’s ambitious proposal to redesign its transportation and energy infrastructure,” said Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan said of the $11 million state pledge. “The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has worked closely with the city regarding this proposal and has committed to provide additional state funding if the city’s proposal is successful.”
May 20 is the deadline for final application, and the government says it plans to announce the winning city at the end of June.