7 'Smart Cities Challenge' Finalists Announced

The U.S Department of Transportation's Smart Cities Challenge will provide funding for seven finalists to further develop proposals to develop high-tech transportation solutions.

2 minute read

March 14, 2016, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Nighttime Traffic

badahos / Shutterstock

Alissa Walker reports on the announcement of seven finalists in the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Smart Cities Challenge." The seven finalists announced over the weekend "will receive $100,000 each and work closely with the USDOT and a group of partners to streamline their proposals," according to Walker. Eventually, one city will receive up to $40 million to fund their strategy from the U.S. DOT, and an additional $10 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's company Vulcan. Walker's article includes more background on the competition so far, as well as next steps for the finalists.

U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the following competition finalists:

  • Austin, Texas
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Francisco, California

The announcement took place at the South By Southwest Interactive festival taking place in Austin. The festival and the news about the competition attracted news about the finalists from other publications. Tim Stevens reports for CNET on the finalists. Tom Knox reports for the Columbus Business Journal on the details of the proposals that got Columbus into the final group. Austin Mayor Mayor Steve Adler also sent a press release celebrating his city's inclusion among the finalists.

Just a month ago, the U.S. DOT was spreading news about the large response to the competition, after 77 cities submitted competition proposals. The large number of submissions compelled the U.S. DOT to announce seven finalists—two more than the originally intended five finalists.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 in Gizmodo

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Traffic on the 405 interstate freeway through the Sepulveda Pass at Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California

Report: Bike Lanes Can't Make up for New Roads

If California wants to meet its climate goals, the state must stop funding its myriad road construction and expansion projects.

September 29 - Streetsblog California

Late evening view of downtown Minneapolis skyline with stone bridge in foreground

Minneapolis Affordable Housing Project Largest in 20 Years

The city opened its first large multifamily affordable housing complex in decades, but a recent court ruling against the Minneapolis 2040 rezoning plan could jeopardize future projects.

September 29 - Minnesota Public Radio

Close-up of vertical PARK sign on multistory urban parking garage.

NYC Mayor Proposes Eliminating Parking Minimums

Mayor Adams wants to stop requiring off-site parking for new buildings to reduce the costs of construction as part of the ‘City of Yes’ package of zoning reforms.

September 29 - StreetsBlog NYC

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.