DCA congratulates Georgia Smart Communities Challenge winners

Four communities were recognized as the 2019-2020 GA Smart Communities class on June 18 at the Macon-Bibb Government Center. This program, spearheaded by Georgia Tech, provides up to $50,000 in grant funding to four winning cities or counties who will have one year to develop smart community planning and pilot studies. Communities partner with the university, a research team and state agencies to incorporate technology into their planning.

DCA is a Smart Georgia partner, and Commissioner Christopher Nunn welcomed attendees and spoke about the impact technology has in the state. As a native of middle Georgia, he said the world we live in continues to change, evolve and adapt.

“Ask any farmer in this state about the impact technology has changed their business. Ask any healthcare administrator or physician about how technology has impacted their business,” he said. “As a teenager, I went to the Federal Reserve in Atlanta and it served as the clearinghouse for checks. Today, my wife works for a company where you can deposit checks through a device.”

Commissioner Nunn also thanked Georgia Tech, lauding their leadership and opportunities for innovation in local communities. He said, “You can’t underestimate the power of partnership when it comes to envisioning and realizing the future.”

Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Ph.D., announced this year’s winners. He said, “Georgia Tech is proud to have played a leadership role in this program which we believe will improve the quality of life across the entire state.”

The 2019-2020 GA Smart Communities class are as follows:

  • Columbus Smart Uptown will focus on improving safety and security of transportation systems and connectivity to drive economic growth.
  • Macon Smart Neighborhoods, through establishment of smart kiosks, will work to address underserved area of communities by providing connectivity and on-demand services.
  • Milton Smarter Safer Routes to School will promote walking and biking to school by creating a network of programmed devices that connect students and parents.
  • Woodstock Smart Master Plan and Corridor Study will involve a smart corridor and infrastructure study to improve mobility and congestion to deal with rapid growth and uneven commuting patterns.

“Georgia Smart takes Georgia Tech and brings it to together with real communities and public agencies to support the communities and their efforts to implement cutting-edge technology,” President Peterson said. More information about the program and winners can be found online.