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The capital city of Ohio has proven to be a true innovator among U.S. Smart Cities, and has even been awarded the winner of the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. Columbus was chosen thanks to the city being a leader in innovative ideas that will transform the city to become greener, more efficient, and easier to live in. This is the first Smart City award in history, and it comes with some significant benefits for Columbus and its residents.

The most important, is a massive $40 million grant from the Department of Transportation. This will be supplemented by up to $10 million from Vulcan Inc., Paul G. Allen’s project and investment company. This $50 million will go towards a number of city initiatives, and is in addition to around $90 million that the city has already raised from private investors and partner companies.

Plans for the Future

The plans that secured Columbus the win are both ambitious, and holistically minded. Rather than just tackling one or a few different areas of the city for modernization, Columbus plans to invest in a number of different areas to benefit private residents, while supporting important sectors of the economy and attracting new investment.

A new rapid transit system will connect consumers to the main retail district of the city, and self-driving electric shuttles will be a major aspect of this system. This will not only provide easy access for consumers, but it will connect residents to jobs in the central districts of Columbus.

Healthcare is another major focus for smart innovations, and the new rapid transit systems will provide residents with easier access to facilities.

In addition to the rapid transit system, Columbus will implement new RFID technologies that will help to streamline toll payments, monitor traffic flow, and plan for future expansion and improvements based on road usage patterns.

A Worthy Winner of this Unprecedented Award

Columbus is the perfect city to be made the inaugural winner of the Smart City Challenge. Their innovations will help boost the economy and improve quality of life in one of America’s largest business and educational centers.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

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