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Jackson News

Posted on: February 2, 2017

City of Jackson Selected for Envision America 2017 Smart City Initiative

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Charlotte, NC - January 24, 2017 - Envision America 2017 has just announced this year’s participants in its Smart City initiative. The following cities have been selected to participate in a workshop hosted in Charlotte, NC from March 6-8, 2017, they include: Jackson, MS; San Antonio, TX; Wichita, KS; Providence, RI; Burlington, VT; Detroit, MI; Chula Vista, CA; Greensboro, NC; Kansas City, MO; and, Long Beach, CA.

Envision America issues a challenge to America’s cities to become smarter by accelerating deployment of innovative technologies that tackle energy, water, waste, and air challenges. Cities were selected for participation in the program on the basis of several criteria, including goals, existing cross-sector collaborations, and a commitment to developing innovative approaches foundational to a Smart City. Over the course of the three-day workshop, representatives will collaborate with industry, academic experts and entrepreneurs to develop innovative strategies to help implement “smart" projects in their city. 

Other cities, universities and non profits are invited to attend and gain valuable insights around Smart City projects and solutions.

Envision Charlotte will be co-hosting Envision America with the Data Science Initiative (DSI) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The (DSI) is an industry-university-state partnership, led by the College of Computing and Informatics, the Belk College of Business, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Executive Education, and includes collaborative partners across the university and the region. As cities strive to be smarter with their resources and manage them more efficiently, sustainable data is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of these efforts. As a result, partnering with the local university and having the students engage with the participating cities is a unique and valuable resource.  

Launched in 2016, Envision America is building on the success of its inaugural workshop. Last January, the first cohort of cities learned what drives the success of smart initiatives from city leaders, utility partners and private sector allies. Representatives from Charlotte, Cambridge, Greenville, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), San Diego, and Spokane discovered that success also requires cross-sector collaboration. Envision America is excited to sustain the momentum that began with last year’s workshop, when participants returned home with a renewed sense of leadership and a drive to innovate.

“Envision was a great opportunity for the City of Pittsburgh to develop some strategic thinking around our approach to Smart Cities,” Pittsburgh’s Chief Resiliency Officer Grant Ervin said of last year’s workshop. “Providing the space to meet with leading cities and cutting edge companies was a great network building and learning opportunity."

Envision America is a program under Envision Charlotte, which seeks to make the city’s urban core a living laboratory to foster innovation and first-of-their kind programs that improve sustainability, resilience, economic competitiveness and quality of life, all of which can be measured, scaled and replicated in communities outside of the urban core.

Envision America is supported by AT&T, Bank of America, IBM, Itron, Microsoft, Philips Lighting, PTC SAS, Siemens and Wells Fargo.

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