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2017 Strategic Directions:Smart City/Smart Utility Report

Data and Planning Drive the Growth of Smart Cities and Utilities

The Black & Veatch 2017 Strategic Directions: Smart City/Smart Utility Report investigates the progress made by communities and utilities as they continue their evolution toward smarter infrastructure. Around the globe, cities and utilities are beginning to see tangible results from preliminary efforts and are gaining confidence in what a smart city can be.

Municipalities are starting to understand the power of data and how it can foster and support master planning, and how a roadmap can define, drive and ultimately enable smart city initiatives. Utilities are working to integrate advanced technologies — such as evolving to accommodate distributed energy resources (DERs) and improving network connectivity — to determine a successful path forward in a changing landscape.

Smart City Summary

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Embracing Technology for More Efficient Systems
Cities and utilities will need to collectively embrace technology that enables more efficient, reliable and secure operations. In order to fully realize the smart city and smart utility promise, a holistic and scalable digital infrastructure can provide the most return on investment.

How “Value” Can Help Fund Smart City Efforts
Although governments and municipalities believe strongly in the smart city model, they continue to struggle to fund these efforts through traditional routes. Alternative financing such as public-private partnerships and examining how to make smarter decisions with existing capital infrastructure may be the keys to bringing smart cities to life.

Smart Street Systems Moving from Whiteboards to Neighborhoods
Smart street systems consisting of sensor-laden Wi-Fi kiosks, smart streetlights, EV charging stations and integrated urban mobility systems are generating rising interest as cities demand greater connectivity, resource efficiency, enhanced public safety and more effective municipal service delivery.

For Smart Cities, What Comes First: the Budget or the Plan?
Strained budgets may be holding back many municipalities whose leaders understand the benefits of smart city systems but lack the money to support them. Yet, a question is emerging that potentially turns that notion on its head: How can a city know what it can’t afford until it identifies what it needs?

Long-Term Planning Critical to Leveraging DER Investments
DERs are becoming a key component of the modern power grid, affecting all aspects of utility operations and business processes from resource planning to customer service, regulatory requirements and distribution system needs.

Shifting to a Digital Grid Takes Systemwide Grid Modernization
Creating a digital grid is essential to building a system of multiway power and information flow needed to implement flexible and scalable grid operations. Today’s technology has a variety of uses, including renewable integration, increased monitoring and control capabilities, analyzing data for intelligent insight and action, and improving customer engagement.