Backers say Smart City Challenge has put Columbus ahead of its peers

Smart Columbus Shuttle Smart Columbus

The $50 million Smart City Challenge has come to an end and with it, say backers, is a city ahead of its peers when it comes to being ready for the deployment of electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles, addressing climate change and bridging the digital divide.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s worth the fight,” said Jordan Davis, the newly named executive director of Smart Columbus. She was previously director.

In 2016, Columbus won the Smart City competition and with it a $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for research on what a smart transportation system could look like. The city also received a $10 million grant from Paul G. Allen Philanthropies meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mostly by encouraging more consumer and fleet adoption of electric vehicles.

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Story excerpt provided by the Columbus Dispatch.

Written by Mark Williams and Mark Ferenchik.

Originally published June 15, 2021.

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