Smart city hotbeds? Think small (ShutterStock image)

Where cities invest to get 'smart'

Cities looking to get smart are increasingly turning to transportation innovation, such as intelligent systems, mapping for fixed-route services, improved data communication and automated fleet management services.

Many of these popular solutions rely on leveraging transit data, so digitization has been a recent trend – from mobile ticketing and digital road signs to smart traffic signals and travel information platforms, according to a recent report by Deltek. The "Technology Adoption and Smarter Solutions in Local Government" report looks at the adoption of five broad technologies by local governments and ranks cities and counties based on purchasing events -- solicitations, bids  and awards -- over the previous three years, factoring in the total population of each city and county and government expenditures.

Among the cities counties analyzed by Deltek, there were around 4,800 smart transportation purchases each year, of which 67% are from cities and 33% are from counties. These opportunities have been growing at a rate of 9.8% on average per year since 2015, according to the report.

Smart emergency and safety response is the second-most popular investment, covering technology used by law enforcement for solving crimes, video surveillance, 911 and dispatch systems, with the biggest increase coming from Next-Generation 911, public safety answering point services and improved P25 radio communications. These investments, in turn, support other technologies such as cloud storage. Interest in smart surveillance, including body worn cameras and mobile crime scene processing technology is also on the rise.

The report also addressed growth in the big data/analytics category, fueled by spending in back-end hardware and cloud services; citizen engagement technologies, such as customer relationship software, website design and management services and teleconference systems; and connected facilities, which includes networking and intranet systems, cabling and fiber optic equipment as well as satellite communications.

Overall, the growth rates for smart purchases averaged 7% per year, compared to the 4.3% benchmark growth rate for the entire IT/telecom category.

Read the full report here.

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