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U.S. Department of Transportation launches Smart City Challenge to create a city of the future

On December 7th, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a Smart City Challenge to create a fully integrated, first-of-its-kind city that uses data, technology, and creativity to shape how people and goods move in the future. The winning city will be awarded up to $40 million from the USDOT (funding subject to future appropriations) to implement bold, data-driven ideas by making transportation safer, easier, and more reliable. Additionally, Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Inc. has announced its intent to award up to $10 million to the USDOT winner of the Smart City Challenge. The winning city will need to work with Vulcan to secure this funding.

The Smart City Challenge builds on the USDOT's Beyond Traffic draft report issued in February of 2015. Beyond Traffic reveals that our nation's aging infrastructure is not equipped to deal with a dramatically growing population in new regions throughout the country and the need for increased mobility options in developing mega-regions. This public-private collaboration represents the USDOT and Vulcan Inc.'s joint belief that creativity and innovation will be absolutely essential to meeting the significant transportation challenges of the future. Lessons learned from this competition will be used in other cities to improve networks nationwide and demonstrate a practical path to replacing carbon-based fuel consumption. The USDOT welcomes the participation of other entities who share the vision and goals in the Notice of Funding Opportunity found at the Smart City Challenge website: https://www.transportation.gov/smartcity . "This is an opportunity for the winning city to define what it means to be a 'Smart City' when it comes to transportation. We encourage cities to develop their own unique vision, partnerships and blueprints to demonstrate to the world what a fully integrated, forward-looking transportation network looks like," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "America can remain the global leader in maintaining the safest, most efficient system in the world: I am looking for mayors who share that belief to join us in pushing the boundaries of what is possible."

The USDOT is kicking off its Smart City Challenge by inviting cities to submit a high-level description of their vision of a Smart City by February 4, 2016, consistent with the Notice of Funding Opportunity. The USDOT will then announce five finalists in March 2016, who will then compete for up to $40 million to be awarded to one city in June 2016. The Smart City Challenge will allow the selected city to demonstrate how advanced data, technologies, and applications can be used to reduce congestion, keep travelers safe, protect the environment, respond to climate change, and support economic vitality. The following are attributes of the ideal Smart City Challenge candidate:

* Mid-sized city with a population between approximately 200,000 and 850,000 people within city limits as of the 2010 Census;

* A population density typical of a mid-sized city using 2010 Census data;

* Represents a significant portion (more than 15 percent) of the overall population of its urban area using 2010 Census data;

 * An established public transportation system;

* An environment that is conducive to demonstrating proposed strategies; and

* Leadership and capacity to carry out the demonstration throughout the period of performance.

The Smart City Challenge Notice of Funding Opportunity is available online at www.grants.gov at the following direct link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=280384. It's also been posted to the Smart City Challenge website: https://www.transportation.gov/smartcity