The most connected city in North America

smart city

Big Data Drives Smart City

Today, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, shared the first compilation of Smart City data with leaders from 18 cities, two countries and five federal agencies – explaining how strategic analysis and application of this big data will be used to improve city performance.

Kansas City rolled out its Smart City initiative, including a new two-mile KC Streetcar system downtown, nine months ago. The $15 million technology investment, including free public Wi-Fi across 50 downtown blocks, 125 “smart” streetlights and interactive kiosks to engage citizens, makes Kansas City currently the most connected city in North America.
The Smart City program includes smart sensors, these collect big data, in real time which, in turn helps the city to operate more efficiently. “The Smart City sensors and digital tools are cool, but understanding how to use these tools – and the data that they generate – bridges the gap between cool and smart,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

The public is able to see real-time visualization of this data ( on a map showing where there is available parking, what the current traffic flow is, where the pedestrian hotspots are, and the location of the KC Streetcars. As KC’s Smart City infrastructure expands, the city will use big data to drive their decisions, saving taxpayer money through efficient repair and maintenance of streets, water lines and other infrastructure.

“We’ve been testing the quality of the data collected through our Smart City infrastructure,” said Kansas City’s Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett. “Now we will put it to work to benefit Kansas City residents.”

Kansas City published the data while co-hosting a national workshop with Think Big Partners and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Kansas City’s methods for operationalizing big data, meanwhile protecting personal privacy and using the data to solve city problems will be used to help the federal government to set national standards and best practices for big data use.

“The Smart City program is one more reason why talented Millennials and progressive, industry-leading companies are relocating to Kansas City’s downtown area,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “Kansas City is a leader in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship – a model for other cities around the world.”

For more information about Kansas City’s Smart City program, visit

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Kirstie Magowan

Kirstie Magowan

Kirstie Magowan is the managing editor of IT Chronicles. Kirstie is an experienced journalist and publisher who has been working in the IT Service Management industry since 1999. Kirstie is a regular speaker at industry conferences globally.