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North Carolina’s Research Triangle is a Smart Cities Council’s 2021 Readiness Challenge Winner

Submitted by Connie Heath on September 15, 2021

North Carolina’s Research Triangle is a Smart Cities Council’s  


2021 Readiness Challenge Winner

 For immediate release

Washington, DC. – September 8, 2021 – Smart Cities Council, the sector’s largest coalition, today announced the next winner of the 2021 Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge, North Carolina’s Research Triangle - joining Orange County, FL, Nashville, TN and Brisbane, Queensland.  

The Town of Morrisville, NC took the lead by applying to the Readiness Challenge and expanded their scope to include surrounding cities including Cary, Raleigh, Wake County, Apex as well as RDU Airport and Triangle J Council of Government (TJCOG).

“We expanded our program based on the urgent needs in each of our communities and the need to identify priorities to restructure transportation around the region,” explained Rick Ralph, Chief Information Officer, Town of Morrisville. 

"Challenges associated with mobility do not stop at jurisdictional boundaries and require a multi-jurisdictional approach to help leverage resources and reduce duplication. As we continue to welcome more and more people into the Triangle Region, informed and collaborative decision-making will be extremely critical in helping our communities grow together.” adds Lee Worsley, TJCOG’s Executive Director.

“We were very impressed with their application, and helped them align their focus on data sharing in a smart, collaborative way,'' said Philip Bane, Managing Director, Smart Cities Council. He added ‘Our plan is to continue our Readiness Challenge on a quarterly basis announcing winners on a rolling basis. Interested cities can join the current Readiness Challenge here.

The Challenge will help Research Triangle develop a data sharing roadmap over the next several months beginning in September focusing on:

  • Prioritizing projects that will accelerate mobility data sharing;
  • Benchmarking progress (carbon emissions, traffic travel times, congestion, energy efficiency, resiliency, health and safety); and 
  • Identification of procurement and contracting pathways.

Bridgestone Sponsors

Smart Cities Council Partner, Bridgestone is sponsoring the Research Triangle’s Collaborative Engagement bringing its expertise in connecting customers with sustainable energy solutions that inspire breakthroughs and meaningful environmental and social benefits.  Bridgestone, headquartered in Nashville, TN is a leader in the industry with products and offerings like innovative tire design, predictive maintenance and strong service networks. The combination of in-person and digital approaches allows Bridgestone to analyze and utilize data and will add great value to the Readiness Challenge Winner.

Previous 2021 Smart Cities Council Winners

  • Nashville showed immense courage in 2020, persisting through COVID and non-COVID crises  in planning to mitigate the impact of urban flooding, all while passing a massive $1.5B transportation plan. Nashville intends, with the help of the Smart Cities Council and its global network of experts, to continue refining its plan to mitigate the impact of urban flooding and will deliver a roadmap for review by its leaders that can also be replicated by other cities.  
  • Orange County showed its vision to integrate growth and sustainability by proposing a Smart & Healthy Building project that includes in its scope the County’s 530 buildings with plans to extend its work to the 11 other cities in the County, including Winter Park and Orlando. 
  • Brisbane goal is to explore how innovation, technology and data can help accelerate the city’s progress towards achieving broader goals of livability, sustainability, and prosperity. The ability to collect accurate and timely data provides the foundations for the Brisbane City Council to make informed decisions. The significant geographic spread of the Brisbane Local Government Area means Council has thousands of kilometers of land and assets to manage, which in turn requires a sophisticated data collection plan. Brisbane’s City Council is in the process of implementing several initiatives to support the collection of operational and city data.

The winning cities receive a full year of expert, vendor-neutral mentoring, access to Smart Cities Activator for the year and an opportunity for city employees to receive a Smart Cities Practitioner Certificate.

“We are thrilled to see such a diverse set of candidates committed to making their communities more livable, workable and sustainable,” said Smart Cities Council Philip Bane. “They have already made substantial progress in developing their visions, and we are excited about working hands-on with them.”

About the Smart Cities Council

The Smart Cities Council the world's largest smart cities network, envisions a world where digital technology and intelligent design are harnessed to create smart, sustainable cities with high-quality living and high-quality jobs.

For more information: Connie Heath, Executive Director, City Engagement -