According to a release, the founding members including Avista, the City of Spokane, Itron, McKinstry, the University District Development Association and Washington State University (WSU), have been working to create a living laboratory to design cities of the future in the 770-acre University District, adjacent to Spokane’s downtown core.
The group signed a memorandum of understanding to align their efforts around a shared vision and purpose for the project. [Itron assists smart cities development through ‘readiness guide’]
The goal of the Urbanova smart city living lab is to leverage data to gain insights, empower people and solve urban challenges in new ways.
This is aimed at enabling healthier citizens, safer neighborhoods, smarter infrastructure, a more sustainable environment and a stronger economy.
Smart city collaboration
[quote] The collaborative effort is already yielding results with smart city projects, including a smart and connected streetlight pilot, ‘Shared Energy Economy’ model and smart city research grants.
“Urbanova has seen tremendous progress this year. As new technologies continue to change the energy landscape, Avista is proud to be one of the founding partners to come together to create a smart city technology proving ground that anyone can utilize and that everyone will benefit from — in the heart of Spokane,” said Heather Rosentrater, Avista vice president of energy delivery.
“Each partner brings expertise and leadership in their respective fields. Aligning our efforts will support projects that can enhance the livability, workability, sustainability and quality of life in cities, starting with Spokane. It will also create a testing ground for companies and innovators who are working on smart city solutions to be replicated around the world.”
“The City of Spokane and its citizens will greatly benefit from Urbanova’s mission as it aims to improve the economy, environment and well-being of our community. In the future, cities will address issues like resource scarcity, traffic, safety and health through the use of technology. Local businesses and residents will want to be involved in this exciting work,” added City of Spokane Mayor David Condon.