The effort to make Dallas into a smarter city is pushing ahead – and early experiments are showing results.
The Dallas Innovation Alliance, a public-private partnership supporting a forward‐thinking, "smart" global city, unveiled a study Thursday that showed the push to modernize helps economic growth, technology and energy efficiency.
The study looked at “Smart Cities Living Lab” in Dallas' West End Historic District, a four-block corridor with nine integrated projects, according to a statement.
The Living Lab is a part of Dallas’ Smart Cities Initiative, a collaborative effort between the city, the DIA, and AT&T (NYSE: T) to improve efficiency and public safety while collecting gobs of data to fuel future solutions.
“The intention of becoming a smart city is to improve operations, sustainability and create an inclusive and prosperous city; testing the data and technology provides a catalyst in preparing Dallas for the future," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in the statement. "The insights generated by the Living Lab will be utilized as a tool to evaluate the potential of these technologies to reach our goals as a city. "
The study, which stretches over more than 35 pages, shows improvement in several areas. With revitalization, the report saw a 13-percent boost in pedestrian traffic and a 12-percent boost in revenue among local businesses. Crime fell 6 percent year-over-year.
A “smart” lighting pilot led to a 35-percent drop in energy use. Intelligent controls across all of the 85,000 lights in Dallas would produce operational savings of at least $90 million over the life of LED bulbs, the report said.
As for new methods of delivering information and services to the public, the study found a digital kiosk attracted more than 440 users a month – and more than half used the digital kiosk to perform multiple functions. Those functions included accessing transit information, local points of interest and public facilities.
The next phase for the Dallas Innovation Alliance will include projects in Southern Dallas focused on mobility, the digital divide and public safety, among others.
In addition, the DIA is partnering with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft and the University of Texas at Dallas to launch a Smart Cities incubator. "Innov8te," which will be located in the West End also, will support entrepreneurs and startups.
“From the beginning of this initiative, the purpose of the Living Lab was to provide valuable insights through ‘test driving’ forward-thinking technologies,” Jennifer Sanders, executive director of Dallas Innovation Alliance, said in the statement. “We look forward to continuing to capture data in the Living Lab that brings results unique to Dallas’ needs, and are excited to expand our efforts in 2019 into Southern Dallas.”
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