Montgomery earns two Smart 50 awards for innovation

Montgomery earns two Smart 50 awards for innovation
Montgomery will receive two 2020 Smart 50 Awards in April. (Getty Images)

Montgomery continues to be validated as an emerging city in technology and innovation.

The latest confirmation comes from the Capital City garnering two 2020 Smart 50 Awards from US Ignite and Smart Cities Connect.

Montgomery will be recognized for awards in the Urban Infrastructure and Digital Transformation categories at a ceremony April 6 in Denver.

Montgomery is collaborating with Alabama Power to upgrade its streetlights to energy-efficient LED systems. (contributed)

The Urban Infrastructure was a collaboration with Alabama Power to upgrade more than 22,000 streetlights to energy-efficient LED systems. Montgomery anticipates saving approximately $600,000 in energy costs over the next five years. Moreover, the LED bulbs burn brighter and illuminate a larger area, resulting in fewer dark spots on the road and helping create safer neighborhoods and roadways.

The STAR Watch system uses a network of public and private cameras to fight crime in the Montgomery area. (contributed)

The Digital Transformation nod was for the Montgomery Police Department’s use of STAR Watch, a new police-community technology initiative built around a real-time crime center using camera feeds across the city. The River Region Strategic Technology and Resource (STAR) Center is a state-of-the-art facility that takes in feeds from cameras of voluntarily enrolled residents and businesses across Montgomery. The cameras become a force-multiplier to increase overall public safety.

“Montgomery’s recognition on the world stage and our success in harnessing technology and innovation provide a solid foundation to work toward our vision of a city ready to lead in the knowledge-based economy,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said. “Our goal is to continue investing in innovative solutions that can cultivate an equitable city and result in quality-of-life transformations touching everything from public safety and thriving neighborhoods to education.”

This is the second consecutive year Montgomery has been recognized by Ignite and Smart Cities Connect. Montgomery received two awards last year for its achievements in Mobility and Urban Operations through partnerships with Rubicon and RoadBotics.

Griffith Waller, public relations specialist with the city of Montgomery, said the recognitions are indicative of where the city is moving through partnerships like it has with Alabama Power.

“We won last year and we won again this year, thanks in large part to what we’re working on with Alabama Power,” Waller said. “Our streetlight LED conversion really got us that nod and brought home the award.”

Montgomery to receive two 2020 Smart 50 Awards from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Waller said the innovations are important because they benefit residents and they position Montgomery to better compete.

“We see this as a win-win,” he said. “We’re winning Smart Cities technology awards. We’re winning the hearts of residents. It’s safer, it has better light, it decreases light pollution and it’s one of those moves that makes us a more efficient city and one of the cities that’s on the cutting edge. We want to win the next economy, the knowledge-based economy.”

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