What is a smart city?
The history of Columbus and how it became a smart city
Since receiving the grant, Columbus has made impressive strides in becoming a leading smart city. The city has developed a comprehensive plan that includes initiatives like intelligent transportation systems, big data analysis, and public safety enhancements. Columbus has also created a Smart City Council responsible for implementing this plan.
Columbus’ success as a smart city can be attributed to several factors. First, the city has a strong commitment to using technology to improve quality of life for its citizens. Second, Columbus has a talented workforce that is skilled in developing and deploying innovative technologies. Third, the city has a robust ecosystem of private companies and academic institutions that are working together to create innovative solutions. Lastly, Columbus is well-funded and has the political support necessary to achieve its goals as a smart city.
What initiatives has the city put in place to make it smarter?
Over the past several years, Columbus and its neighboring areas have attracted tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. More recently, tech startups have launched in the Columbus Region, working to solve transportation accessibility challenges across the state. For instance, Etch is a Columbus-based multimodal transport app that helps users plan trips throughout central Ohio using buses, ride hailing, carpool, micromobility or personal vehicles. Similarly, Share Mobility partnered with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to extend the bus lines, helping employees get from their last bus stop to their jobs. With safety as a top priority, the city is working to improve emergency response times and create a more resilient infrastructure.
To support economic development, Columbus has developed a “smart regions” strategy that uses data to identify areas with high potential for economic growth. Additionally, Columbus has many partners and nonprofits that support its economic development. For instance, Smart Columbus is an innovation lab that serves the Columbus Region at the intersection of technology and community good.
How citizens have benefited from the city’s transformation
Mandy Bishop, Civil engineer at Smart Columbus, describes how the program puts residents first. “We deployed our Mobility Assistance for People with Cognitive Disabilities application called WayFinder by AbleLink Technologies. This application allowed one of our participants, Jose, to be more confident on fixed route transit (bus) and experience new places like the North Market – a multi-cultural space that has lots of amazing food and shops.”
The city’s funding and support is enabling Columbus to make significant improvements in quality of life and public safety, while maintaining a strong economy.
The future of Columbus as a smart city
Learn more about what makes Columbus a great place to grow a company, start a career, and more. Stay up-to-date on other growing cities through One America Works and follow us for more trends worth your attention.