Image: USTDA

Jamaica Public Service (JPS) has been awarded funding to advance the Smart City New Kingston within the country’s capital.

The funding from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is intended to help JPS identify and deploy smart technologies and develop a roadmap for broader smart cities implementation throughout the country.

“The technical assistance grant from USTDA will provide a big boost to JPS’s vision for a smart city in New Kingston, Jamaica,” said Michel Gantois, JPS president and CEO. “And we cannot do this alone. The establishment of a smart city requires public-private partnerships, as well as the active involvement of stakeholders across sectors.”

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JPS has selected Virginia-based Tuatara Group with expertise in infrastructure development to carry out the assistance, which also will create opportunities for US companies to export cutting edge ICT and energy solutions.

The initiative will also build on the smart street lighting infrastructure upgrade currently under way with Tuatara following an earlier USTDA award. This project is aiming to implement over 110,00 LED streetlights across the island along with intelligent controls and metering by the end of 2021.

New Kingston is the premier business district located near the centre within Jamaica’s capital.

The New Kingston smart city demonstration will evaluate potential smart city solutions in areas including a smart grid, intelligent transportation, potable water supply, safety and security, solid waste, public health and environmental services.

In a 2019 address then Minister of Science, Energy & Technology Fayval Williams said Jamaica’s government is committed to the smart cities and open data agenda.

New Kingston has the potential to become the first smart city in the region. An earlier initiative to develop a smart city in the north coast resort of Montego Bay appears yet to get off the ground.