USA: Smart cities may be key to national infrastructure initiative
By Mickey McCarter
During the recent winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA), U.S. governors pressed for a comprehensive federal infrastructure plan that would provide financial incentives for states to rebuild and reinforce infrastructure.
Infrastructure resiliency depends on the deployment of modern technologies including sensors and the Internet of Things to maintain the health of transportation and electric infrastructure, and the federal government should help fund such initiatives, governors urged the White House and Congress. Experts have called for smart infrastructure that can withstand pressures such as destructive natural disasters.
In a hearing of the House Transportation Committee on Feb. 7, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in prepared testimony, "Governors believe that innovative technologies should be embraced to achieve resiliency, security and efficiency. Infrastructure should incorporate new capabilities related to increasing connectivity, autonomy, digital information and electrification. States are leading the way in embracing new practices and technologies that provide innovative solutions to traditional infrastructure needs; federal investments should be integrated and reward positive, evidence-based outcomes."
Los Angeles and AT&T last year announced they were exploring a public-private partnership to explore smart city solutions. AT&T emphasized the city would tackle challenges around "traffic, natural disaster preparedness and public safety."
Similarly, Greenville, S.C., has been working with Sprint on a 5G-powered deployment of that company's Curiosity IoT infrastructure. The project would involve construction of infrastructure to support new technologies.