Philadelphia preps for its Smart City Challenge

Philadelphia has announced a goal to create a large multi-purpose wireless network — called the “Smart City Challenge” — that will depend on public-private partnerships to address the digital divide and enhance existing operations and services.
Site of the upcoming Democratic convention, Philadelphia has frequently been recognized for placing among the top municipal governments for the utilization of technology that improves local services.
The city’s newly reconfigured Office of Innovation and Technology is looking for forward-thinking community members to propose ideas that will strengthen the city’s connection to the Internet of Things
“The City of Philadelphia is interested in determining if the existing assets could be leveraged to better city operations and services,” explained Ellen Hwang, the city’s Program Manager for Innovation Management. “The City seeks information and ideas on any products and technologies that could use these assets as a platform to improve public safety, public infrastructure maintenance, energy efficiency, public space management, transportation and quality of life for the residents and businesses of Philadelphia.”

What would Philadelphia officials like to see?

Officials are searching for ideas from specialists, designers, technologists, telecommunications specialists, ad agencies, entrepreneurs and urban enthusiasts that live in Philadelphia and anyone else from around the globe that would like to participate in the

  • Public Safety Surveillance: Extra video surveillance locations and cameras, that are used solely for public safety purposes, which police could monitor, especially in larger crime locations.
  • Gunshot Detection: Detection gadgets that can recognize a gunshot and send the information to the City’s 911 Center, while also directing the city’s cameras in the area to focus on the area where the gunshot was placed.
  • Meter Reading: Remote meter-reading that collects information and forwards it to the Water Department for billing.
  • Street Lighting Controls: Remotely controlled lighting systems that respond to citizens, provide important data, and/or decrease energy expenses.
  • Transportation Analytics: Technologies that can recognize traffic flow changes, cyclist and pedestrian activity, and parking options.