#DOTSmartCity Update for April 20

Ce-oRgkUMAAS4I-Here’s the latest rundown of coverage on Austin’s bid for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge!

Where Innovation Leadership and Urbanization Collide
By Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

Beginning today, I will be participating in roundtables, presentations and panels that highlight transportation’s role in improving quality of life, economic development, and the environment.

But, I’m not going at this alone. Senior staff at the Department that include experts in policy and innovation, and even three mayors, Mayor Adler of Austin, TX, Mayor Hales of Portland, OR, and Mayor Buttigieg of South Bend, IN, are joining to help exchange information with our partners overseas about better integrating multi-modal transportation infrastructure with our environment to make communities the best they can be.

What I learned in Copenhagen
By Mayor Steve Adler
The focus in Denmark has been examining more efficient use of existing right of way – with efficiency defined as moving the greatest number of people most quickly with the least congestion. How we can accomplish this is a “do or die” challenge for Austin. The reason I’m here is to see how other cities have solved the same problem. Denmark has done this in a significant way with bicycles.

“Racing to the finish line in the Smart City Challenge”
By Mayor Steve Adler

At first glance, a federal grant about technological innovations for mobility might not have much to do with racial equality in Austin, Texas. After all, Austin is one of seven finalists for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, a $50-million competition to use technology to make mobility safer, cheaper, cleaner, and more effective for everyone – not just some. But as much as winning the Smart City Challenge would help Austin with mobility, it would also have a transformative impact on entire communities in my city that have never equally shared in our prosperity.

“Winning Smart Cities Challenge would be big boost to Austin’s tech ecosystem
By Barbary Brunner, CEO of the Austin Technology Council & Molly Young, Executive Director at Austin Technology Council Foundation

Traffic congestion as an economic development problem may seem like a strange idea, particularly for the tech industry. But with Austin earning a spot as one of seven finalists in the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge, Austin’s tech community has the opportunity to become a major player in the nation’s traffic and transportation conversation while solving one of Austin’s own longstanding problems in the process.

“Austin Mayor heads to Europe to hone transit vision”
By Michael Theis, Staff Writer for Austin Business Journal

Austin Mayor Steve Adler is logging more long-distance mileage to pitch the city’s futuristic vision for transportation. This time, Adler will be in Denmark on April 24 with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in connection with the city’s entry into the DOT-sponsored Smart City Challenge grant competition, which has seven finalist cities competing for a total of $50 million in grants to implement a transportation vision centered around smart tech such as self-driving cars and sensor-studded roads.