Alabama’s capital city is becoming renowned across the globe for utilizing technology and innovation to revolutionize public safety and urban infrastructure operations.
US Ignite and Smart Cities Connect this week named the City of Montgomery a winner in two 2020 Smart 50 Awards categories: urban infrastructure and digital transformation.
Montgomery’s STAR Watch program and LED lighting rollout were the winning projects honored.
In a statement, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said, “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.”
“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,” he added.
STAR Watch is the Montgomery Police Department’s new police-community technology initiative built around a real-time crime center comprising camera feeds across the city. The River Region Strategic Technology and Resource Center (STAR), a state-of-the-art MPD facility, uses feeds from cameras of voluntarily enrolled residents and businesses across Montgomery as a force-multiplier to increase overall public safety.
Montgomery’s LED lighting initiative was made possible through a partnership with Alabama Power Company. The company upgraded more than 22,000 streetlights from mercury vapor, metal halide and high pressure sodium bulbs into new energy-efficient LED systems. City officials anticipate saving approximately $600,000 in energy costs (thus taxpayer monies) over the next five years. LED bulbs also burn brighter and illuminate a larger area, resulting in fewer dark spots on the road, which means safer neighborhoods and roadways. Read more about the initiative here.
Montgomery will join fellow award-wining cities, including mega high-tech hubs like Chicago, London and Beijing, at an awards ceremony on April 6 in Denver.
This year’s ceremony will mark the second consecutive year that Montgomery has been recognized by Ignite and Smart Cities Connect. The “Capital of Dreams” received two awards last year for its achievements in mobility and urban operations.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn