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Kansas City presses on with emerging 'smart city' corridor

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 30, 2015
While some ROI is expected from US$102 million streetcar project, it's unclear whether overall tech push will pay off.

As with many innovations, it's hard to predict what applications the Living Lab will produce, much less how some urban problems are defined. "We don't even know what we need...for the mega-cities of the future," Sih said.

The same can be said for Kansas City.

The city's smart city project is "very ambitious," acknowledged Rick Usher, assistant city manager. "The possibilities that are offered to city government...give us better ways to deploy our resources to maintain that infrastructure.... The exciting part is that we don't know what we don't know. As we deploy this technology we're going to discover things that can be solved or identify problems we can work on."

Kansas City won't be the first smart city "but hopefully the next most important," Sih said. The goal is to "make ours more pragmatic and more accessible."


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