Smart Cities Really Just Want to Be More Marketable

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

And that means rapidly improving overlooked infrastructure in the urban areas millennials are targeting for relocation.

Sustain Louisville launched in 2013 with the goal of reducing the city’s per capita energy use 25 percent by 2025, a tall task when faced with outdated, high-maintenance building equipment and limited funds.

Becoming a green city is as much about attracting residents as it is about protecting the environment—residents drawn to urban cores where infrastructure has often gone ignored.

In some ways, the smart cities movement is simply the push to improve that infrastructure on a rapid timeline to remain competitive nationally and even internationally.

“Everything needs to go back to helping the cities attract and retain people to work, live and play there,” said Lisa Brown, senior national director of municipal infrastructure and smart cities for Johnson Controls in North America. “We’re finding places that haven’t had investments for many decades are places millennials want to move back into.”

Johnson Controls specializes in smart city solutions and met with Louisville’s mayor, sustainability director and chief financial officer to talk structured finance vehicles. The process is not very different from a city constructing a new stadium or a county adding a correctional facility.

Potential projects are prioritized based on their ability to deliver the biggest impact early on, deals structured, audits conducted and cash flows evaluated. Some cities have their communities approve procurement policies and legislation, and only then can installation begin.

Louisville’s sustainability plan involves $27 million in energy-efficient upgrades across almost 200 buildings from city hall to the city zoo. A projected $56 million in energy cost savings over 25 years means the project pays for itself—no-risk funding ensured through an energy savings performance contract.

Johnson Controls pays the upfront costs, assuming financial liability if savings fall short.

“When you have limited resources it’s important that you get results, and that you’re only paying for success,” said Steve Rowland, the city’s chief financial officer, in a statement.

The contract guarantees $2.7 million in annual energy savings across water conservation efforts, lighting upgrades, solar panel installations, heating and air conditioning, and building management system controls. Additionally, the contract promised metro buildings would use 395,000 fewer gallons of water in under a year.

Resulting projects created 400 jobs and contracts with minority- and women-owned businesses, and officials expect additional economic development will follow.

“We try to understand what their overall priorities are, while helping them curb costs and generally working with other stakeholders—consortiums,” Brown said. “The smart city concept is really one of collaboration.”

Multiple corporate advisors are encouraged, as is the compartmentalization of smart city projects.

Brown sees smart cities as those embracing ever-evolving products and technologies to achieve a distinct set of goals: enhancing public safety; improving mobility; addressing climate change; meeting the needs of the underserved; making infrastructure smarter; increasing connectivity, and achieving resiliency and cost savings. But always, it all comes back to boosting city marketability to citizens.

More objects are connected to the internet than there are people in the world, and city officials want to see return on investment from their tech investments. Smart cities like Louisville show ROI through the customer-driven use of data.

“Data is great,” Brown said. “But if it’s a wave of data, and I’m not able to make it snackable to communicate out to our constituents, then it means nothing.”

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY: The Next Step in Kansas City’s Push to Become a ‘Smart City’

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.