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”Smart District” Leads the Way for This Midwestern Smart City

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We Stand For Energy is now heading to the Midwest to explore Kansas City, Missouri’s smart city initiatives.

Using data and technology to improve the daily lives of its residents, the initial phase Kansas City’s downtown tech district  is transportation-focused, since the genesis of the idea grew from the city’s plans to build a $100-million streetcar line back in 2013. Through a partnership with Cisco, the city established a 2.2-mile long “smart district” with a tech backbone that will enable a host of future projects to come online as Kansas City fully realizes its smart city goals.

The resulting downtown district is now wired with sensors that assist residents and visitors with finding parking spaces, determining traffic conditions, and finding the locations of Kansas City streetcars. The city also has installed free Wi-Fi across 50 downtown blocks and has 25 web-connected kiosks showing options for local entertainment, food, and city services for those who do not have smartphones.

Kansas City’s smart city project also features a Light Sensory Network that automatically adjusts LED streetlights—saving money and energy, and reducing light pollution. The next planned expansion of sensors will extend to a residential neighborhood in an underserved area, enabling city officials to measure the value of bringing free residential Wi-Fi to the community.

Kansas City’s smart city initiatives are using data to improve the lives of its citizens, attract businesses and visitors to its downtown—and save money and energy. It is a collaboration that holds great promise for the city’s future.