Smart Cities Initiative Empowers Montgomery County, Baltimore City

Montgomery County, Baltimore City & the National Association of Counties (NACo) are participants of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative which allows cities, governmental agencies, universities, and the private sector to work together to research, develop, deploy, and testbed new technologies that can help make cities more inhabitable, cleaner, and more equitable. The White House Administration has expanded this initiative with over $80 million in new Federal investments and doubled the number of participants to help cities in the areas of climate, transportation, public safety and transformation of city services. The Administration’s approach involves working together with communities to identify local needs and priorities, develop and build upon evidence-based and data-driven solutions, and strategically invest Federal funding and technical assistance.

Montgomery County was awarded a Replicable Smart Cities Technology grant and selected to focus on the development and deployment of interoperable technologies to address important public concerns regarding air pollution, flood prediction, rapid emergency response, and improved citizen services through interoperable smart city solutions that can be implemented by communities of all types and sizes.

NIST will work with the County to build a first-of-a-kind alert network that uses sensors to detect hazardous situations such as dangerous pollutants and poor air quality.

“Montgomery County continues not only to participate nationally as a smart community, but also to lead as one,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “This grant and our partnership with NIST is continued evidence that the County is actively using technology to create a safer environment for all residents, especially our most vulnerable.”

Montgomery County is also a member of the Urban Innovation Council which is dedicated to overcoming challenges to build smarter cities through entrepreneurship.

Baltimore City, with Johns Hopkins University & the University of Baltimore, are members of the Big Data and Human Services Lab which brings together stakeholders from the MetroLab Network’s membership to connect disparate policy and research efforts that harness data-driven approaches to transform human services. This effort will support coordination across communities, develop new tools and infrastructure, and help replicate what works, such as the collaboration between University of Washington and Seattle to use predictive analytics to identify precisely when city services succeed in helping homeless individuals transition into permanent housing, offering the promise of a future of personalized intervention.

The National Association of Counties (NAC0)  is a member of the Better Communities Alliance (BCA), which is a new DOE-led network of cities and counties with the goal of creating cleaner, smarter, and more prosperous communities for all Americans. Through the BCA, which is part of the Better Buildings Initiative, DOE is creating a one-stop shop for cities and counties to plug into DOE resources and AmeriCorps resources from the Corporation for National and Community Service to support them in tackling energy and climate challenges. DOE will gather key stakeholders to promote knowledge exchange and collaboration, while streamlining access to community-focused DOE resources and funding through coordinated assistance across programs and a common digital portal.

Click here to find out more about the White House Smart Cities Initiative.