Developing a Smart City Action Plan
Kansas City is a leader in Smart City technology, with 54 square blocks of free public WiFi, 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.
We recently issued a Request for Proposals to gather information to help us consider a phase two. We decided to move forward without selecting a business partner from among the proposals received. Instead, we are creating a Smart City Action Plan to guide our future Smart City initiatives.
We have been gathering community input for the action plan. The plan, due in fall 2019, is likely to focus on determining the best governance structure for future Smart City programs, and ways to make sure we implement smart and innovation solutions at all levels of our operations.
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 more than $15 million public-private partnership is one of the first economic development projects credited to the City’s modern streetcar, which is free and open to the public. The Smart City corridor follows the 2-mile long streetcar route.
Our Office of Innovation oversees Smart City initiatives. Contact Chief Innovation Officer Alex Braszko for more information or to discuss innovation strategies and partnership opportunities.
Smart City Data, Kiosks, Smart Sewers and Other Infrastructure
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 Smart City 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.
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.
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 WiFi 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.