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Exploring Top Smart City Projects in the United States

Smart City projects have gained momentum over the last decade, as more municipalities across North American have launched a wide variety of digital transformation initiatives. That said, some cities have achieved significant outcomes that enable them to improve services for citizens.

Los Angeles, New York, Chicago are the smartest cities in the United States, according to the latest market study by ABI Research. Cities were evaluated across various metrics such as deployment of LED streetlights, smart meters, renewable energy, electric mobility, smart parking, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies, smart waste, and first responder communications.

American Smart City Project Assessment

"New York is the leading city with the highest deployment of LED streetlights in the U.S., followed closely by Los Angeles," said Raquel Artes, analyst at ABI Research.

Chicago will have the highest upgrade of current legacy streetlights as the local government is targeting to replace 270,000 legacy streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights by 2021. SilverSpring Networks, Telensa, Philips, and GE are the key stakeholders in this space.

Additionally, Florida, New York, Miami, and Michigan are the leading cities that would likely have the highest deployment of V2X technologies due to government initiatives to boost road safety and accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles.

Meanwhile, New York leads in the replacement of existing legacy pay phones with state-of-the-art kiosks called Links. Chicago and Kansas City have recently trial-launched smart Wi-fi kiosks.

And, smart sanitation bins are gaining traction in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Tampa City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Texas.

While larger cities are focusing on large-scale deployment of smart city projects and experimental technologies, their smaller counterparts tend to prioritize projects based on more immediate tangible benefits such as cost savings, reduction of carbon footprint, and the overall improvement of quality of life.

Top smart city projects that aim to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution are:

Electric Mobility -- Overall, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York have the highest deployment of electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging stations in the U.S. Among medium-sized states, Oregon ranked first, followed by Colorado and Maryland. Among small area population states, Hawaii ranked first, followed by Vermont and Hampshire. This is driven by government mandates such as zero emission vehicle (ZEV) programs and Clean Energy Acts.

Solar PV -- Los Angeles ranked first, followed by San Diego, and Phoenix with the highest deployments of solar PV technologies. Among mid-sized cities, Honolulu ranked first, followed by Albuquerque and New Orleans. Among smaller cities, Newark ranked first, followed by Cincinnati.

Smart Meter -- Among large states, California, Texas, and Florida were the leading states with the highest deployments of smart meters in the United States in 2016. Among medium-sized states, Maryland ranked first, followed by Alabama and Oklahoma. Among smaller states, Maine ranked first, followed by Idaho and Delaware.

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