As Naperville,one of Chicagoland’s most popular suburbs,continues to expand and get more and more residents,city officials are looking at interesting new ways to bring more “smart” technology to the city. The city,which features some of the area’s hottest business apartments and other furnished rentals,is looking to bring more features to the city like devices that monitor parking space availability and upgraded storm sewers. Eventually,they’d even like to bring a track to test self-driving vehicles to the area.
Of course,due to the nature of how city government works,Naperville is looking to the smart minds of the state to come up with ideas and research to help them get started. Naperville wants to create a “next generation streetscape” and they know that their residents will have some great ideas.
“Over the past two years city staff have been approached by dozens of vendors pitching ‘SmartCity’ or ‘IoT’ (Internet of Things) items,” Jeff Anderson,director of information technology for the city of Naperville,said to the Chicago Tribune,located in Downtown Chicago near River North. “This is an attempt to learn what is real,what is an idea and what things vendors are willing to bring forth and partner with the city (on) in a public-private partnership.”
But don’t get us wrong,it’s not like Naperville isn’t a “smart” town already – they have gotten a great start with implementing some state of the art technology already,including electric car charging stations,LED street lights,centralized traffic management system,automated meter infrastructure for reading utility meters and city fleet refueling stations.
One of the biggest questions,the budget for the project,is still up in the air. City officials point to a lack of information and research and say that once they have more of both they will have a better idea of what is realistic in terms of money they can spend. RFI documents were sent out in early February and are due to be submitted by the first week of March,which is soon. From there they will be able to start assessing how much of a budget they will need to set aside.