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California smart city project gets $1.5M in funding

Luana PASCU

May 19, 2017

California smart city project gets $1.5M in funding

Cities the world over are embracing the technology of the future, from smart sensors in Los Angeles streetlights to free internet in public transportation in Barcelona, and urban improvements across India. The Internet of Things is becoming more popular as it promises to save natural resources and reduce operational costs.

Lighting, energy management, parking and infrastructure in San Leandro, California, are about to get a complete tech makeover thanks to an innovative internet of things project based on sensors.

Officials want to implement the changes by using the city’s 10 gigabit internet backbone after understanding “that there was much more happening out there around fiber optics, and particularly, around government that we had not anticipated,” explained Debbie Acosta, the city’s chief information officer.

The city received a $1.5 million grant from the California Energy Commission and, if the outcome is successful, an $8 million investment from the state will follow in 2018. The initiative to improve water and lighting from a smart city perspective was announced in 2016, and energy savings are estimated to total $8 million in the next 15 years.

“Smart city and IoT technologies are important because they’re going to enable us to gather data about things we couldn’t know about in the past and it’s going to allow us to make better decisions because of this data,” she said. “The goal is to figure out how to scale renewable energy and develop advanced energy communities, because we’re tired of waiting for the world figure it out.”

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