PHILADELPHIA – The Office of Innovation and Technology today released the SmartCityPHL roadmap, a document outlining three key strategies aimed to spur innovation and collaboration in the Philadelphia community around Smart City projects.

The development of the roadmap was led by the Office of Innovation and Technology and supported by a working group of more than a dozen City departments, as well as additional community-based organizations and universities and colleges.  The roadmap will serve as a guide on how the City can adopt and leverage technology solutions to improve service delivery for Philadelphia’s broad and diverse community of residents, businesses, and visitors.

In addition, Mayor Kenney signed an executive order to formally establish the SmartCityPHL initiative and the creation of the SmartCityPHL Advisory Committee.  The Executive Order reflects the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to equitably adopt and implement Smart City technology, in order to positively impact its neighborhoods.

“We’re very excited to be at the forefront of this innovative work,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The SmartCityPHL initiative will allow us to provide better services to all of our residents and prepare Philadelphia to be a city of the future. Using our great City’s assets, culture and resources, we will pursue projects that reflect the needs of Philadelphia’s communities.”

The Roadmap consists of three core strategies:

  • Build a strong foundation with policy and infrastructure including executive leadership, a Smart City Director, an internal working group and the just-established external advisory committee.
  • Create a process for engagement and partnership to ensure that the voices of residents and stakeholders are included in the development and deployment of Smart City technology.
  • Support and sustain implementation of projects and programs with funding including public/private partnerships, government grants, philanthropic grants and city funding.

“The SmartCityPHL Roadmap acknowledges that digital access and adoption remain significant hurdles among Philadelphia’s communities,” said Chief Information Officer Mark Wheeler. “The challenge is to ensure that Smart City technologies are available and meaningful for all our residents.”

The Office of Innovation & Technology received a $200,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation last year to develop a smart city strategy for the City of Philadelphia that would give clear and realistic guidelines on how the City could implement, support and utilize smart technology for the service of citizens.  The funding led to the development of the Roadmap and the establishment of the Advisory Committee.

“Smarter cities are more connected and more responsive to residents,” said Sam Gill, vice president of communities and impact for Knight Foundation. “This Roadmap recognizes that to seize the opportunity of technology, cities must harness its power for the public’s benefit.”

The Advisory Committee will be comprised of 20 members who will work together to guide and support the implementation of the key actions outlined in the SmartCityPHL roadmap, identify strategic partners and opportunities, and advise on future technology development and deployment in Philadelphia.  The members of this committee represent a diverse range of private, public, university, and community-based organizations.

“The SmartCityPHL roadmap was designed to guide the City in implementing technology that will provide value to Philadelphia’s diverse communities in many different ways, whether it be through mobility, energy, public health, or digital access,” said Ellen Hwang, Smart City Director in the Office of Innovation & Technology.

The term “Smart City” is defined as a city that integrates information and communication technology to support the economic, social, and environmental goals of a community.  This would include technology that helps municipal government manage its assets and resources more effectively in support of improved quality of life.  Technology solutions related to Smart City require a network, such as fiber optic cable or wireless broadband, to power devices and applications and deliver information to people.  In addition, it often includes some level of real-time data analytics and information gathering in order to provide insights, alerts, or automatic responses to different situations.

The full Roadmap can be found here.