Public-private partnerships with Sprint, Cisco deliver more than 50 blocks of free public Wi-Fi, 125 smart streetlights, 25 interactive kiosks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2016
Today, Kansas City launched its smart city initiative, a collaboration with Cisco, Sprint and Think Big Partners. The more than $15 million public-private partnership has made Kansas City’s Smart City Corridor a leading technology, innovation and entrepreneurial community. The corridor follows the City’s 2 mile-long street car route and is one of the first economic development projects credited to the City’s modern streetcar. From the River Market to Union Station, residents will now have free access cutting-edge technologies, such as free public Wi-Fi, smart streetlights, smart traffic signals and interactive kiosks.
“I’m excited to see our Smart City open to the world,” said Bob Bennett, Kansas City’s chief innovation officer. “This effort helps us connect to 21st century citizens in 21st century ways, understand our city better through use of big data and enable city leaders to prevent problems instead of just solving them.”
The program includes Sprint Wi-Fi, a free outdoor public Wi-Fi deployment across more than 50 square blocks downtown, 125 “smart” streetlights along a two-mile stretch of the new KC Streetcar line and 25 interactive kiosks to engage citizens. Sprint, in collaboration with Cisco, constructs, owns and manages the intelligent Wi-Fi network, which connects to a broad range of Smart City applications.
“Sprint is excited to be part of this important initiative to enable greater connectivity in our hometown, Kansas City,” said Tim Donahue, president, Kansas and Missouri Region at Sprint. “We view this as a mutually beneficial partnership that will make Kansas City an even better place to live, work and visit.”
Wi-Fi connectivity along the KC Streetcar route will help enable smart lighting, digital kiosks and sensor technology. Smart lighting reduces power consumption and enables better tracking of total energy used. Kiosks at KC Streetcar platforms and locations around downtown provide information about local businesses and events and offer new ways to access city services.
“At Cisco, we know that there’s never been a better time to make Kansas City’s urban center more vibrant by using technology to get people where they want to go. Cisco and Kansas City know that its smart streetcar debut this week is going to make their smart city even smarter,” said Kim Majerus, Cisco’s vice president of State, Local and Education West, U.S. Public Sector.
Entrepreneurs are developing new applications through a Living Lab partnership between Cisco and Think Big Partners to connect entrepreneurs to Smart City data.
“Kansas City has issued an open invitation to entrepreneurs, along with large companies looking to develop pilot partnerships, who are developing technologies that could improve city services,” said Herb Sih, president of Think Big Partners.
“Kansas City is taking important innovative steps to further solidify our region as a center for technology. This translates into more talented individuals locating here and significant economic growth,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council.
Residents can learn more about Smart City initiatives by visiting the City’s Smart City Village at 1200 Main Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 6 and from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. Residents can also follow #SmartCityKC for updates.
Media inquiries can be directed to City Communications Director, Chris Hernandez, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 816-513-3474.