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Houston Wins Smart Cities North America Award

Houston Wins Smart Cities North America Award
Posted on 04/12/2019

Online feedback generated thousands of votes across 12 smart city categories. The winners will be honored at the Smart Cities New York event.

Smart City

Aldine ISD is honored to be a part of the initiative with the City of Houston and Microsoft that won IDC’s Smart Cities North America challenge.

After receiving more than 4,100 votes from the public and scoring by an international panel of judges, IDC Government Insights recently announced the winners of the second annual IDC Smart Cities North America Awards (SCNAA).

The awards recognize the progress North American communities have made in executing Smart Cities projects, as well as provide a forum for sharing best practices to help accelerate Smart City development in the region. Winners were named in 12 categories with a tie in both Transportation Infrastructure and Urban Planning and Land Use.

The City of Houston, a finalist in two categories (Smart Building and Transportation), won the Smart Buildings Award.

Aldine ISD’s Role

Aldine ISD is taking part in the Smart Buildings initiative. AISD was the only district selected by Microsoft to take part in establishing an advanced, unified communication platform to improve school safety. The new technology will ensure first responders like the Aldine ISD Police Department, Aldine fire stations, Houston police, and fire departments and other entities as well as neighboring school districts will be better informed of the types and the severity of the emergencies.

Microsoft selected Aldine ISD because it already had the infrastructure in place to incorporate the software company’s intelligence capabilities to take connected devices and applications a step further in the world of IoT (Internet of Things). AISD has been ahead of campus security and smart building models for several years now. The District allocated funds — local and federal — toward technology infrastructure that includes upgrades and secure building access. Some of the funds for technology infrastructure were approved by voters in past bond referendums.

“Student and staff safety is a top priority. The partnership with the City of Houston and Microsoft will take our efforts to the next level,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney.

More than 70 cities/counties were represented, underscoring the overwhelming success and efficiency of Smart City projects implemented across the country. Winners will be honored at the Smart Cities New York conference.

Winners in the SCNAA illustrate best practice examples of urban innovation with a particular focus on the use of technology (cloud, platforms, analytics, IoT, mobile solutions) and data, unique partnerships, funding models, and/or community involvement.

Mayor Sylvester Turner is working with Microsoft in a progressive approach that merges innovative technology with existing technologies to create a unified communication platform that links the City of Houston first-responder communication network. The goal is to develop infrastructure practices into a cutting-edge solution for urban crisis management.

At the heart of the solution is the implementation of a smart infrastructure network that it allows first responders the ability to identify and address threats to the community more quickly by leveraging disparate pieces of data (e.g. building design and layout, key contacts) collected across multiple systems throughout the city.

“The partnership with Microsoft to drive the city forward with technology innovations will address key priorities, including disaster recovery and response, building and school safety, as well as more efficient, capable transportation,” said Turner. “We are leaping into the future. My goal is for Houston to become the next hotbed in our nation for innovation and technology and the digital universe.”

Watch the video to learn more about Mayor Turner and Microsoft are transforming Houston into a Smart City by embracing technology.