ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Sustainable Cities Collective was relaunched as Smart Cities Dive in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates or images, may not have migrated over. For the latest in smart city news, check out the new Smart Cities Dive site or sign up for our daily newsletter.

Lincoln, Nebraska: NRDC Top City for Transportation

Natural Resources Defense Council Smarter Cities for Transportation

When you think of a mecca for public transportation, often times you may think of large cities; New York City, Tokyo, and London all stick out. A new city is emerging, that is the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, which was named one of the top smart cities for transportation by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  While Lincoln ranks top on a list of cities of comparable size, the innovative thinking behind the smarter solutions to public transportation can be a lesson for all and implemented on a larger scale.


As part of the Smarter Cities study conducted in 2011 by the NRDC, Lincoln was voted top based on comparing U.S. cities based on public transit availability and use; household automobile ownership and use; and innovative, sustainable and affordable transportation programs. While this study was conducted two years ago, the principles learned are still applicable towards developing smarter cities today.

Natural Resources Defense Council Smarter Cities for TransportationAs Lincoln is home to much of the regions population, entertainment, as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the introduction of a smarter public transit system has aided locals, and visitors alike, in enjoying every aspect of what Lincoln has to offer. We can attribute this shift in public transit mostly by implementing smart urban planning techniques that increase the accessibility of the city.Through several zoning laws, Lincoln has been able to see major growth, while still remaining in current city limits. Urban planners have created vast amounts of bike trails, bus routes, as well a convenient system of streets, which makes travel easily obtainable within the city. Our public busing systems have shifted towards new branding techniques that advertise alternative fuels and affordable fare to create incentives for more and more people to ride as well as providing a nod to sustainability.  Since the study the city of Lincoln has continued these practices and even expanded them through several programs such as The Cleaner Greener Lincoln Initiative.

With all of these tactics being used within the city of Lincoln, where do you think your city would rank on a list of smarter cities?

Credits: Photo by Lisa Gran. Images and data linked to sources.