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article imageSmart city startup program eyes resilience and public safety

By Karen Graham     Aug 20, 2017 in Technology
As our cities continue to grow in size and complexity, there is also a growing demand for technology and innovations that keep infrastructure, services, and residents safe. And safety is critical in attracting business, investments and skilled labor.
The recent violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the resulting protest and counter-protest marches across the United States, coupled with the terror-attacks in Spain, Finland, and other countries, have reignited discussions on how we can keep our cities safe.
Having a safe city encompasses more than just giving people a safe route to march without the fear of being killed. A safe city needs technology and innovative solutions that protect the public and much of this duty is accomplished by first-responders such as police, fire, and ambulance, allowing them to locate, mitigate and prevent safety issues.
A photo taken from the instagram account of BernatMajo shows police officers and rescuers standing i...
A photo taken from the instagram account of BernatMajo shows police officers and rescuers standing in a street in the Finnish city of Turku where several people were stabbed on August 18, 2017
Bernat Majo, AFP
Smart City Fall 2017 Cohort session begins on September 13, 2017
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Smart City Works Actuator has been accepting applications from entrepreneurs, startups, and companies with emerging products designed to make cities smarter, safer, more livable and more resilient.
Applicants will attend the Smart City Fall 2017 Cohort session in Herndon, Va., next month. This fall session is an expansion of its spring session launched in March 2017. The event was organized by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Smart City Works Actuator.
Kevin May, the marketing and communications director for CIT, says the 90-day program is designed to give participating companies the skills and resources to become successful in an ever-changing and highly-competitive industry.
Millennials support startups  but are not the ones building new businesses  a new poll shows
Millennials support startups, but are not the ones building new businesses, a new poll shows
Jalisco Campus Party
“The application process is highly competitive," May added. "Our management team fields applications and inquiries from dozens of startups from across the globe that are interested in participating in the actuator program."
“Our program brings together industry experts, veterans, buyers and customers into a platform that supports the rapid launch of the next-generation of smart infrastructure companies,” said May. “At the end of the program, we host a Demo Day where we invite over 150 mentors, investors, and industry experts to hear the companies' polished pitches.”
Fall cohort focusing on six smart city needs
The fall cohort received entries that focused on six areas of technology and solutions needed to become a smart city. They include transportation, resilience and public safety, construction, urban data and IoT technologies, energy, and caring cities. Each area has its specific challenges, making them open to innovative technologies.
Flood waters from Hurricane Katrina in 2005  killed 1 500 people and caused $75 billion in damage to...
Flood waters from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, killed 1,500 people and caused $75 billion in damage to New Orleans
Pool/AFP
In light of today's problems with crime and terrorism instigated attacks on the public in cities around the world, a city's resilience and safety are paramount to the protection of its citizens and infrastructure. Urban planners and city officials also have to take into consideration the effects of rising sea levels, extreme weather, and other natural or man-made events that can disrupt a city.
Many of the solutions will come in the form of IoT technologies, such as unmanned aerial systems for use indoors, as well as indoor sensing units that monitor buildings, particularly after large events. These technologies will include video, imagery and other solutions that can detect any changes in the surroundings.
This kind of technology is also vital to the safety of a city's water supply, electrical transformers and security at large events of any kind. But overall, safety and resilience solutions are necessary for a city's economic growth. Safe cities attract the investments, businesses, and skilled labor needed for sustainability.
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