Montgomery County to become “Smart City”

By Thomas Atkinson, Online Features Editor

Montgomery County has begun a partnership with AT&T to become a “Smart City,” creating a more connected community for all its residents.

A “Smart City” is a city that uses technology in order to increase efficiency and to improve the caliber of life for all of the residents. The idea of a more technologically connected community originated over 10 years ago, and the concept is still evolving in cities all over the world.

“In the United States, the adoption of smart cities is still in its infancy,” General Manager of AT&T Smart Cities Mike Zeto said. “At AT&T, our smart cities initiative is built on working with an alliance of technology leaders to develop and implement solutions that will address multiple needs of a city.”

In order to become more efficient, Montgomery County workers are striving to improve areas such as infrastructure, transportation, citizen engagement and public safety.

“Montgomery County is focused on several smart community domains that will help disconnected seniors, our transit system and our agricultural reserve just to name a few,” County Executive Ike Leggett said. “For example, our new partnership with AT&T, Hitachi and Deloitte will facilitate our efforts to explore the trends that will impact our transit system in the coming decades.”

With better infrastructure technology, maintenance crews will also be able to monitor the conditions of roads, buildings and parks, leading cities to be in better shape.

“This will affect students especially regarding the road because with new drivers on the road, they will be safer with better road conditions,” senior Lucy Bedewi said.

The Smart City will also provide more job opportunities in the future for high school graduates.

“For high school students in particular, across the country we are starting to see collaboration among the public and private business sector and schools to develop programs that engage students in smart cities-related initiatives,” Zeto said. “Additionally, as the adoption of smart cities takes off, there will be job opportunities in the next 5 to 10 years that tie back to these fields. Many of today’s high school students will be filling these positions and continuing to drive smart cities’ innovation in their own communities and beyond.”

This ongoing collaboration between AT&T and Montgomery County, holds many benefits for the residents and will aid in making a safer, more innovative community.

“Smart city enhancements will not happen overnight, but we’re actively researching and preparing for the future,” Leggett said.