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U.S. DOT Announces Challenge Winners
Smart City and Every Place Counts Design Challenges


The United States Department of Transportation has named Columbus, Ohio, the winner of the $40 million Smart City Challenge. The four winners of the Every Place Counts Design Challenge are Spokane, Wash., Ramsey County, Minn., Nashville, Tenn., and Philadelphia, Pa.
Photo: Rod Berry/Ohio Stock Photography

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced the winners of its Smart City Challenge and Every Place Counts Design Challenge. Columbus, Ohio, won the $40 million Smart City Challenge. Spokane, Wash.; Ramsey County, Minn.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Philadelphia, Pa., are the winners of the Every Place Counts Design Challenge.

Seventy-eight cities applied to the Smart City Challenge, which sought out the city that would become the first in the country to integrate innovative technologies, including self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors, into their transportation network.

Ultimately, Columbus was chosen because of their holistic vision for technology helping all residents to move more easily, including not just transportation improvements, but also improving health care access for those who need it most.

As the winner, the city will receive up to $40 million from USDOT and up to $10 million from launch partner Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Inc. to supplement the $90 million raised from private partners.

"We are thrilled to be America's first Smart City. Our collaboration between public, private and nonprofit sectors is the perfect example of how we lift up our residents and connect all communities," said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. "Smart Columbus will deliver an unprecedented multimodal transportation system that will not only benefit the people of central Ohio, but potentially all mid-sized cities. I am grateful to President Obama, Secretary Foxx, the U.S. Department of Transportation, all of our partners and especially the Smart Columbus team."

The six finalists that were not chosen (Austin, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco, Calif.) each received a $100,000 grant to further develop their smart city proposals.

The Every Place Counts Design Challenge aims to raise awareness and identify inclusive community design solutions that bridge the infrastructure divide and reconnect people to opportunity. Each winner receives a design session with elected officials, urban planners, designers, and local residents to discuss a transportation project that can link communities to jobs, healthcare, and schools.

Spokane's design session took place on July 7-8; Nashville's on July 11-12. Philadelphia's will take place on July 14-15 and Minneapolis's on July 18-19.

The DOT extended an open invitation to volunteers including landscape architects, design firms, urban and regional planners, engineers and academia to offer their knowledge and expertise.

To learn more about both challenges, and to register as a volunteer, visit

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May 19, 2019, 12:21 am PDT

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