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Funding Smart City Projects in a Post-pandemic World

Smart City Projects in a Post-pandemic World
Life after COVID-19 will look different for every industry and individual around the world. For cities around the United States, it will include significantly tightened budgets. In fact, nearly 9 in 10 cities will experience a budget shortfall due to the pandemic, and they will be met with equal pressure to create jobs and provide reliable city services.

Combining unexpected revenue decline and unanticipated expenditure increases, cities will meet significantly constrained budgets in the aftermath of COVID-19. Unfortunately, many of these cities will also not receive aid from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which only provides funding to the 36 cities with more than 500,000 residents, which is only 0.5% of all municipalities.

Although budgets are shrinking, cities still need to provide services and economic opportunities to their communities as they begin the recovery process. To meet new requirements in a post-pandemic world, cities will have greater responsibility to ensure public health. Meanwhile, cities will still need to meet their sustainability goals, ensure public safety and reliably deliver energy and water to citizens.

All of these factors combined create a need for innovative technology, which can serve as a platform to enable all of these initiatives and better connect cities to their citizens. For example, cities would greatly benefit from understanding pedestrian and traffic flow to ensure they are capable of meeting social distancing guidelines. They could also take advantage of digital signage to inform the public of closures or crowding in certain areas, as well as other applications to ensure citizens are aware of what is happening in their communities. Now, more than ever, cities have an exigent need to invest in technology and services to deliver critical infrastructure and services.

To alleviate these financial barriers that prevent cities from investing in much needed technologies, Itron and Key Equipment Finance have introduced a financing program for cities. This program will provide financing to Itron’s municipality and utility customers in the United States to empower them to deploy smart city technologies and services. With Key Equipment Finance, Itron will help cities accelerate smart city programs that offer the greatest cost savings and enhance services for the communities they serve.

With access to innovative smart city and community solutions, cities will be able to unlock value for their communities and lay a foundation for future use cases. The platform provided by Itron enables cities to deploy solutions that correspond to their needs. Those solutions all have in common the ability to generate economic, social and environmental benefits for the community and the city. For example, by deploying a solution such as Itron’s intelligent street lighting and central management software, cities will quickly be able to realize energy savings of up to 75%, significantly reducing their carbon emissions and enhancing public safety with consistent and improved lighting.

Itron’s smart city solutions enable cities and communities to improve municipal services, lower carbon emissions, create safer neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life for their citizens. Learn more here.