The making of a smart city: No. 9 #dctech trend of 2016

Source: on December 27, 2016 | Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

It all started (well, for 2016 at least) with free wifi.

In February, local investor and entrepreneur Ted Leonsis took a hard line on the need for free, municipal internet access. New York is “kicking our collective butt” with LinkNYC, he said, perhaps hoping to evince jealousy or at least a bit of a competitive spirit.

But smart cities initiatives in D.C. went beyond connectivity, too. 2016 was also the year in which the District installed two wifi-connected Soofa benches (in Columbia Heights and Eastern Market) as part of a pilot program. The city also announced smarter trash cans bound for Chinatown and Anacostia. And in Dupont Circle, a new section of sidewalk is helping to generate electricity to run LED lights in the park at night. When D.C. and San Francisco became the anchor cities for a new “Council of Global City CIOs,” sharing information on smart cities practices was one of the primary stated objectives of that Council.

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