- Georgia Tech's Georgia Smart Communities Challenge announced its 2019 grant recipients: Columbus Smart Uptown, Macon Smart Neighborhoods, Milton Smarter Safer Routes to School and Woodstock Smart Master Plan and Corridor Study.
- Each community will receive $50,000 to develop a pilot project centered on mobility, equity and smart resilience, with the help of a Georgia Tech researcher.
- The program offers funding, technical assistance and networking opportunities for local communities of any size in Georgia to support planning for a smart future.
This is the second Georgia Smart Communities Challenge. Work on the 2018 projects will continue until September, when the newly chosen 2019 projects will officially launch.
This year's group will work on projects installing smart kiosks in underserved neighborhoods; installing internet of things (IoT) devices to provide public Wi-Fi and gather data; creating a network to help kids walk and bike to school safely; and conducting a smart corridor and infrastructure study.
Last year's group launched projects to create an automated housing registry system; study shared autonomous vehicle use; install a network of IoT sea level sensors; and explore connected vehicle traffic management technologies.
Many smart city initiatives focus on large cities, but plenty of small and mid-sized cities produce forward-thinking ideas to solve common problems involving transportation, equitable connectivity and safety. Opening up this program to cities of all sizes provides opportunities for smart city advancements to communities that might not otherwise have the funding or resources.
The program's design also encourages talent to stay in their communities instead of leaving for well-known tech hubs. In addition to announcing a new group of program participants this week, the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge organizers highlighted Georgia Tech students' involvement in last year's projects.
This is the first group of Georgia Tech students to be embedded full-time into the communities. It offers these students leadership training, mentorship and experience in smart initiative implementation.