66% of US cities investing in smart city technology - TechRepublic
A report from the National League of Cities shows that US cities are incubators for new technology, and a sharing economy is a major part of the plan for many municipalities. Source: TechRepublic
Smart city growth continues to expand, with 66% of cities reporting that they are investing in smart city technology, and 25% of those without any smart city systems are exploring how to implement it, according to a new report from the National League of Cities (NLC).

The report, an update to a similar NLC study in 2015, was the result of a survey of elected city officials across the US. This report dove in deeper on smart city topics than the previous report.

"It's exciting to see that 66% of cities have invested in smart city technology for municipal operations or services, but I do still feel like there's a definitional issue at play on what truly is a smart city. There's so many different voices, from the business sector to non-profit to cities themselves that are trying to define what a smart city is. And until we can really fully encapsulate what it means to be a smart city, I think that we still have some movement ahead within that space," said Brooks Rainwater, co-author of the report and senior executive and director of the Center for City Solutions at NLC.

Nicole DuPuis, who co-authored the report with Rainwater and is the principal associate for Urban Innovation in the Center for City Solutions at NLC, said, "I was a little surprised by that number [66%]. I think that it was a little higher than I anticipated, but again there's a wide range of what we're calling smart city technology. It could be everything from smart parking meters to sensor networks to governance applications. So, there's kind of a wide breadth in terms of what we're talking about."

Of those cities that have invested in smart city technology, the top applications include:

Smart meters for utilities

Intelligent traffic signals

E-governance applications

Wi-Fi kiosks

Radio frequency identification (RFID) sensors in pavement