Columbus also may have had an advantage because it is seen as representative of typical U.S. cities and makes it more likely to be emulated by other cities. It has a mix of worker types—white collar, blue collar and older workers—and it has a diverse population.
Because of that, many companies and brands consider Columbus “the test marketing capital of the world,” Ginther said in a Washington Post blog post. Now the city wants to be the place other cities turn to when they begin implementing smart city initiatives.
As it says in its video for the challenge:
“We will set the pace for smart city transportation. We will lift a low-income community out of poverty, give students of all ages unprecedented access to education, give more expectant mothers access to prenatal care, and get more children to pre-K. We will clear congestion and improve safety like never before.”
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