Greater Washington Smart Region Movement

The Washington metropolitan area could be an even better place to live and work if we deployed the game-changing smart city technologies that are on the rise. But we aren’t a city—we’re a region made up of many unique communities. That’s why we’re taking an innovative and radically collaborative approach. Download our one-pager and read on for more detail.

About the Movement

The Greater Washington Smart Region Movement includes a broad and diverse group of government, business, and community stakeholders working together to make Greater Washington the most digitally enabled region in the United States. Its long-term objective is to create a region-wide, harmonized system of smart city technologies to increase livability and accelerate inclusive economic growth.

MISSION
To create the nation’s leading digitally enabled region

VISION
To enable an inclusive, trusted, secure, and sustainable digital environment for our region that improves how we live, work, connect, and prosper

Partners

The lead partners of the Greater Washington Smart Region Movement collectively represent hundreds of nonprofit, government, private sector, and academic organizations, forming the most comprehensive cross-sector partnership for smart regional growth in the United States. Together, we are creating a framework to deploy digital solutions across our region.

The Greater Washington Board of Trade represents a wide range of organizations, from nonprofits to construction companies, law firms, technology companies, and professional services firms. As the program lead, the Board of Trade convenes the partners, its members, and the community to help develop an inclusive plan to drive digital technologies that meet our diverse needs.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments represents 300 government officials across 24 local governments. It will help to build a supportive and consistent public policy framework so that new technologies align with regional priorities and don’t stop working at jurisdictional borders. (See the certified resolution on the Smart Region Movement.)

The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area represents 17 institutions and nearly 290,000 students. It will help ensure that the region’s educational and training programs can prepare its workforce for the employment opportunities on the horizon. It will also help identify research and development partners for testing new technological solutions.

In addition, the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) joined as a strategic partner. WMATA will draw upon its experience as a cross-jurisdictional transit authority to help the movement navigate legal, policy, and regulatory issues. The movement will also explore ways to leverage existing assets and roles for our region.

In the News

Access to transit, traffic, congestion to be addressed in Metro DC ‘Smart Region’ efforts, WTOP, March 14

New consortium sets vision for Washington region to be national leader in finding digital solutions to problems, Washington Post, March 19

DC groups form comprehensive partnership for smart regional growth, Smart City Dive, March 20

Building the Smart Infrastructure the Region Deserves, What’s Working in Washington (podcast), April 7

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of smart city technologies and digital infrastructure?

Digital infrastructure and the technology solutions that follow can help citizens enjoy a high quality of life while making the region more efficient and productive. The following outcomes are typical of smart city projects observed around the world:

  • 15-20 percent reduction in commute times
  • 30-40 percent reduction in crime
  • 20-35 percent improvement in emergency response time
  • More efficient use of energy and water
  • More meaningful citizen engagement

What does a smart region look like?

To us, a smart region starts with developing a standardized approach to introduce digital solutions that can work together in our region. The technological foundation of a smart region is widespread connectivity and secure, trusted systems for data management and analysis leading to more responsive infrastructure and amenities. With this strong foundation in place, the region can explore hundreds of smart applications that make daily life easier, safer, more sustainable, and more productive for the region’s citizens. A few examples include public WiFi, air pollution alerts, smart parking apps, and traffic signals that respond intelligently to traffic and better manage traffic flow.

What is the problem it is trying to solve?

The Washington metropolitan area has many assets, but also faces several longstanding challenges: Its economy is too dependent on federal government spending, local public policy making is fragmented, quality of life and economic opportunity vary dramatically from one neighborhood to the next, transportation and housing infrastructure are not keeping pace with population growth, and economic growth is slow. Together, we want to harness digital technologies to create a diversified and thriving economy that benefits all residents, encourages business development, and improves our infrastructure.

What happens next?

Movement partners are currently collaborating closely with community stakeholders to design an operational and governance framework. Once in place, this framework will guide the decisions that lead to on-the-ground changes.

Further Reading

One page overview (PDF)

Greater Washington launches the most comprehensive cross-sector partnership for smart regional growth in the United States (press release)

How Technology Can Make Metropolitan Life Easier—And Why We Should Invest (blog)

Demystifying the Smart Region with Tom Touchet (blog)

Igniting a Smart Region Movement (2018 primer)