Boston.

Boston has deployed a number of smart-tech projects and initiatives to prepare for the future.
The city is working with businesses, universities, and the public to improve utilities and traffic.
Officials are also working on sustainability by reducing carbon emissions and the digital divide.
This article is part of a series focused on American cities building a better tomorrow called “Advancing Cities.”

Embracing digital transformation can help cities become more sustainable and resilient. One city that’s ahead of the curve is Boston, which has deployed a number of smart technologies and initiatives.

Manuel Esquivel.

“We’re working proactively and trying to be ready for the future,” Manuel Esquivel, the city’s senior infrastructure and energy planner, told Insider. “There’s no doubt that smart technology has a huge promise on making city operations efficient and robust.”

For the past few years, Boston has collaborated with businesses, universities, and the public to lay the groundwork for its digital transformation plans. Here’s a look at what the city has in the works.

The Smart Utilities Program aims to cut utility costs and prep for the impact of climate change

The Boston Smart Utilities Program.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency approved the Smart Utilities Program as a two-year pilot in 2018. The goal of the program is to coordinate the adoption of technology to ensure Boston’s utility infrastructure is prepared for the effects of climate change, cut utility costs for residents, and reduce traffic congestion and road construction.

It centers on five smart-utility technologies: a district energy microgrid, green infrastructure, smart streetlights, a telecom utilidor, and technology supporting car, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. 

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Esquivel said a program update was approved in 2020 and projects are at different stages as stakeholders continue to collaborate on how to best use the technology to address the city’s needs.

“We have done so much of the table setting for the new technologies in the city of Boston that we’re looking to support our sustainability, resilience, and futuristic goals,” Esquivel said.

Transportation initiatives strive to make travel more equitable and roadways safer

A Boston street sign highlights its Smart Vision project.

Go Boston 2030, the city’s comprehensive transportation plan, strives to make getting around the city more equitable, reliable, and efficient. It’s also helping the city prepare for the effects of climate change.

The plan aims to reduce transportation-related carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, decrease vehicle traffic, and increase use of public transit by 30%, walking by half, and biking by four times.

The plan’s 58 projects include bike lanes and slow streets, smart streetlights and signals, and self-driving vehicle policies and testing. So far, about half of the projects have been implemented or are in the design phase.

The Boston Transportation Department also launched the Vision Zero program in 2016 to eliminate serious and fatal traffic accidents by 2030. To achieve that goal, the city set a default speed limit of …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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