County of San Mateo, CA innovation center to run on UrbanLeap platform
- The County of San Mateo, CA inked a deal with UrbanLeap to make the company’s urban innovation management platform the operational platform for the county’s smart region innovation center, SMC Labs.
- SMC Labs will use UrbanLeap's custom platform to evaluate, collect and share new technologies and pilot programs. The tool will be especially helpful in coordinating regional projects.
- The Bay Area county, which includes 20 cities and 29 public agencies, is UrbanLeap’s second-largest government partner; the platform has also been used in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Palo Alto, CA.
San Mateo County — which includes cities like Menlo Park, Redwood City and San Mateo — has touted itself as a leader of smart cities technology because of its proximity to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, and willingness to experiment with new technology. The county notably launched a public wireless internet project in 2014 to try to close the region’s digital divide, and partnered with the Joint Venture Silicon Valley to form a smart region initiative.
UrbanLeap’s platform is meant to further those regional initiatives by helping organize ongoing projects and evaluate up-and-coming technology. The cloud-based management tool offers project visualizations to show projects, has standard contracts and offers vendors and government officials a place to share feedback. It’s meant to help cities understand how successful a project might be before actually executing it, a way to save money and time.
In a statement, county chief information officer Jon Walton said the platform will "enable us to see the value of all these ideas and move them through the pilot process."
"Being a 'smart region' requires to work with 'smart solutions,'" he added.
As cities and states explore increasingly costly and complex smart cities projects, UrbanLeap is just one tool they can use to help manage and evaluate their progress. Smart Cities Council, for example, released a "Smart Cities Project Activator" to help governments share best practices and streamline initiatives across different departments, and Marketplace.city has used a partnership with 100 Resilient Cities to expand its online market of smart cities technology with reviews from other potential clients.
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