Emerging Technology Initiative (Smart City)

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Kansas City, Mo. is a leader in Smart City technology, with 54 square blocks of free public Wi-Fi, interactive kiosks along our downtown streetcar route, smart streetlights and traffic signals, and sensors gathering data that help us run our city more efficiently, even in our storm water overflow system.

This system benefits residents who can use the free public Wi-Fi in the downtown business district. Free public Wi-Fi is also on the way to the Prospect MAX bus corridor (under construction now). Data generated by sensors helps our city make better decisions to improve the delivery of our basic services, while creating a more connected city for all.

The City has created an Emerging Technology Board, which will bring in more community partners and public input while expanding and replacing the Smart City Advisory Board. 

The city’s goals while deploying new technologies include:

  • Improving the lives of our residents with better quality air, water, land, food and affordable housing
  • Protecting privacy rights
  • Providing equitable opportunities for education, health and economic success

The board will also pursue technologies that help with economic development, government transparency and similar goals included in the Citywide Business Plan.  Apply for a board.

How we started 

Kansas City’s Smart City programming started in 2015 with the first partnership agreements. We have become one of the world’s most connected Smart City thanks to the installation of cutting-edge technologies which improve everyday experiences for residents. The original $15 million public-private partnership is one of the first economic development projects credited to the City’s modern streetcar. The Smart City corridor follows the 2-mile long streetcar route.

Sensor Data, Kiosks, Smart Sewers and Other Infrastructure

Data

Smart City initiatives help city staff use real-time data to deliver basic services more efficiently and to attract economic development and entrepreneurs.

The public can see a visualization of the data on maps and dashboards that show available parking, traffic flow, pedestrian hotspots, and the location of KC Streetcars. The City owns the data generated by the sensors. A city partner, Xaqt, created the innovative platform to display data, which now includes traffic accident and digital inclusion maps. Other data is available on our Open Data Catalog. 

The city uses data to drive decisions that save taxpayer money through more efficient repairs and maintenance of streets, water lines and other infrastructure. As stewards of public data, the City sets high standards through its data privacy principles.

Kiosks

We have interactive kiosks (see locations), in multiple locations along the KC Streetcar route, in the downtown business district, at KCI airport and the UMKC campus. These provide tourist information, public safety alerts, as well as promotional opportunities for local businesses. To ask about marketing opportunities, contact Mike Maithow at Smart City Media.

Infrastructure

Kansas City’s Smart City infrastructure is meant to use advances in technology to change the way our city works – from more efficient management of traffic signals, streetlights and storm water systems to new ways to engage with residents and visitors.

  • Free public Wi-Fi provides no-cost internet access to residents and visitors in the downtown business district, with plans to expand along the Prospect Avenue bus line.
  • Dynamic traffic signals and street lights that are responsive to pedestrian activity along Main Street have shortened travel time along Main Street while making it faster and safer for pedestrians crossing streets.
  • Kansas City’s annual Smart Infrastructure Update program book provides local contractors with information about upcoming fiscal year capital improvements projects.
  • Planned General Obligation bond projects can be found online at kcmo.gov/gokc.
  • Our Smart Sewers program has gained national attention for innovative solutions and won awards for using green infrastructure to satisfy a federal consent decree to reduce sewer overflows in old pipes.

View more history.