Dallas Offers an Impressive Smart Community Model

Dallas does more than pro football. The Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace is the fourth largest in the United States from a population standpoint with over 7.2 million people. The Dallas region has had to evolve and innovate to keep up. It houses 19 Fortune 500 company headquarters, and has the ninth largest concentration of technology jobs in the U.S., with 360 people moving to the Dallas region every day.

The City of Dallas is also a leader in the implementation of Smart City technology. Lead by the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA), the City of Dallas is using state of the art information technology network and technology to make the city safer and smarter.

How is Dallas becoming a smart community? The DIA is a coordinating a public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart cities plan for the City of Dallas.

The DIA has 30 public-private partners in their smart city project, and the lead partner is Dallas-based AT&T. Other partners includes Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, AECOM, ParkHub, GE, CIVIQ Smartscapes, Schneider Electric, Philips and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

The Downtown Dallas neighborhood of the West-End Historical District is a living lab pilot zone. That particular area of Dallas has seen a dip in revenue over the years, but presents an area of potential for the city.

Dallas is creating a Phase I living lab by incorporating five to seven projects in the downtown, West-End area. These projects include smart lighting, waste management, digital citizen-centric kiosks, smart irrigation, smart parking and public Wi-Fi. They are testing KPIs around economic development, energy and water cost and usage, public safety, transportation and others. The Downtown Dallas West-End project will provide a critical case study for how to improve city services but also transform a neighborhood into a tech jobs center.

The Downtown Dallas West-End project is:

  • Converting street lights to intelligent LED lights with intelligent controls for remote adjustments and outage tracking
  • Installation of sensors on utility poles to measure environmental impacts, including air quality and crowd/noise detection;
  • Implementation of a solar powered waste management system increases capacity and productivity, sensors reduce CO2 and tells trucks when waste is high;
  • Placement of interactive digital kiosks allow for public Wi-Fi, energy services and wayfinding/transit options;
  • Provision of free Wi-Fi fiber/cellular LTE to provide coverage;
  • Utilization of smart parking technology to improve access to the Downtown Dallas; and
  • Installation of smart irrigation systems to demonstrate water and maintenance savings.

The Downtown Dallas West-End Project illustrates what any community can do to transform a neighborhood and a city into a technology leader.