- Kansas City, MO is seeking partners for its smart city expansion plans, according to a request for proposals (RFP) issued Wednesday.
- The city is looking to expand its smart city project in the Prospect Avenue corridor and combine upgrades to its public transportation with improvements to technology. A similar project was carried out in 2016, combining a new streetcar with public Wi-Fi and information kiosks in a 54-block area.
- "The City seeks to partner with a firm to provide a fully integrated suite of sensors, networks, and data and analytics platforms that will result in the City becoming the first true Smart City in the world," the RFP reads. Responses are due on July 31.
This RFP aims to make other areas of the city smarter, including the Prospect Avenue corridor in the east, an area that has struggled with neglect after being one of its hubs of activity. Cities have been called on to innovate equitably, including by the likes of the National League of Cities as well as elected officials at various levels.
Kansas City has big ambitions to be the “first true smart city in the world,” and it led the way in 2016 with its first RFP that has transformed much of its downtown core. Since then, other cities have followed with similar RFPs, including Atlanta to advance a “strategic infrastructure initiative,” and Columbus, OH for a smart city data hub. Meanwhile, cities such as Philadelphia have actively moved towards becoming smarter with a smart city roadmap.
Local leaders have continued to present themselves as leaders in the smart city field. Earlier this year, the city’s Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett warned at the Smart Cities Connect conference that cities could be left behind in a "digital Rust Belt" if they do not embrace technological innovation, but also that in 10 years the smart cities movement will be just an "interesting footnote in history" as it will soon be so widespread.