The US Department of Transportation has three pillars for establishing smart cities and communities

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released the report Putting People First – Smart Cities and Communities, discussing the advantages, goals, challenges, and success factors associated with smart cities and communities (SC&C). User-centric mobility services, connected, automated, and electric vehicles, intelligent, sensor-based infrastructure, new urban delivery methods, intelligent payment systems, and advanced analytics are all examples of SC&C technologies.

The report outlines the three pillars for establishing an SC&C:

  • networks of sensors to gather and integrate data that can be used for various applications and citizen services;
  • connectivity that enables city officials to interact directly with the community and to monitor and manage city infrastructure; and,
  • an open data philosophy. SC&Cs should routinely share operations and planning data with the public.

A survey of 52 cities across the country on their use of SC&C technologies was conducted by the USDOT. Traffic management (69 percent), data management (63 percent), public transportation (63 percent), and automation or connectivity for vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians (63 percent) were the most common SC&C activities reported. Funding was cited by 62 percent of respondents, followed by a lack of standards (38 percent), coordination across city departments (37 percent), lack of mature technology (32 percent), and a lack of cybersecurity (32 percent).

Over the next year, the USDOT intends to support a series of webinars and listening sessions on SC&Cs. The goal of these webinars is to build a sustainable coalition of communities that can help implement effective SC&C initiatives by sharing best practices and lessons learned.

To download the full report, visit

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