Portland Vying For 50 Million Dollar Smart Cities Grant

Dated: March 15 2016

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Portland is among seven cities still competing for a combined $50 million in funding from the federal Department of Transportation and Seattle-based investor Vulcan Inc.

The money aims to help create smarter cities.

The finalists were named over the weekend at the South By Southwest Interactive conference. Portland's fellow finalists are:


-Columbus, Ohio.


-Kansas City, Mo.


-San Francisco.

The winner will be named in June.

The Smart City Challenge aims to help local governments integrate new technology into the transportation network. That means everything from autonomous vehicles to connected vehicles and sensor networks.

The Department of Transportation pledged $40 million to the program while Vulcan offered an additional $10 million to winning city to support electric vehicle deployment.

Seventy-eight cities applied for the challenge. Organizers expanded the finalist count from five to seven based on the number of quality entries received.

“The level of excitement and energy the Smart City Challenge has created around the country far exceeds our expectations,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a written statement.

Portland and the other finalists will receive $100,000 to continue to work on their proposals. The next round of reviews will analyze details on integrating technology and prototype.

Cities will work with their own partners plus such project partners as the vehicle vision company Mobileye, 3D software maker Autodes, NXP Semiconductors and Amazon Web Services.

The city of Portland has worked with its own partners including Portland State University and tech companies such as Intel and Verizon Wireless, as well as the Open Bike Initiative to begin the transformation of the transportation infrastructure.

According to Portland’s application, the city will attempt to create “ Ubiquitous Mobility for Portland.” That means using an extensive network of sensors, open-source data sharing and security to better move transit riders, pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists and track emissions.

The city will use the Columbia Corridor and Powell/Division Corridor as demonstration areas.


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Mark Ross

For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 25+ years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in....

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