Design, Technology, and Innovation Projects


On November 3, 2016, Austin City Council passed a resolution calling for the development of a Smart City Strategic Roadmap with relevant City entities, community partners, and the technology community.

The Austin community and city government partners worked together to collaboratively draft this roadmap to inform City policy decision-making, help the community tackle local challenges, and help the city improve service delivery.

City Council has asked that our strategic roadmap include the following:

  • A common, Austin-centered definition of Smart Cities
  • A statement of vision about Austin’s Smart Cities future
  • Challenges on which we should focus and prioritize
  • Potential opportunities to address those challenges
  • Key goals and outcomes operationally for the City and for residents’ equitable quality of life
  • An inventory of practices to consider
  • Core needs, gaps, and capabilities to deliver
  • Potential resources and means for partnering and financing initiatives
  • A prioritized list of projects to pursue.

The pages that follow detail our learnings as of mid-May 2017, and will be updated as new learnings become available. In the coming months, we will be seeking feedback on the framework of the roadmap, we will seek to standardize how we frame the inventory of smart city projects, and work to align these projects to the City Council Strategic Planning effort already under way.

Inventory of projects

As part of the Smart City Strategic Roadmap, we are compiling an inventory of projects that involve the use of technology to solve real problems for real people.* We started collecting this list of projects to understand the types of smart city/open government projects (and opportunities) City departments are involved in, as well as what challenges these projects face in achieving their goals. We are using this information to identify and prioritize what resources and guidance the City should create or make available to help projects succeed.

View the project inventory embedded below, or click here for a bigger view.

About the project inventory

This is a living repository of projects that began in September 2016 and continues to grow. One reason it continues grow is that many city departments are doing “smart” things, yet very few are calling them “smart city” projects. Instead, they used language such as “Strategic Management Information & Planning Tools” or “Resource Management in Facilities” or “Automated Demand Response.” The jargon of “smart” is still emerging, and we are finding it useful to do some translating.

For more information on the inventory, view our documentation page. Also visit visit our Smart Austin Community of Practice for articles and case studies we’ve collected.

Why are we talking about open government?

When we talk about “smart cities”, we always talk about “open government” too. In government, we strive to be “open by default” – to use open source code, publish data in the open, and share with the public the information we collect. These same guideposts should be true of smart cities projects as well.