You are probably familiar with smart devices such as phones, appliances, and security systems.

What about smart cities?

The city of Bellevue recently announced it has been tapped by the White House to co-lead a partnership with CH2M and the city of Kansas City (Missouri) that aims to make municipalities more efficient.

The partnership’s roots date back to September 2015, when the Obama Administration rolled out a “Smart Cities” initiative to invest more than $160 million to help cities address a range of issues, such as reducing traffic congestion, deterring crime, growing local economies, curbing the effects of climate change, and providing more effective deliveries of services to its residents.

One year later, during the White House’s Smart Cities Week in October, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded four Replicable Smart City Technologies grants worth $350,000 to spur cities to generate innovative solutions. It also identified the city of Bellevue as one of seven lead cities that will work with NIST and its public- and private-sector collaborators as so-called multi-team super-clusters. The task? Identify challenges too big for any single city to tackle and develop solutions that could then be shared and implemented in cities and communities throughout America.

“We are thrilled to be selected as one of the lead cities and to collaborate with other communities and technology partners to develop a pilot smart city dashboard,” said city of Bellevue chief technology officer Chelo Picardal. “Through this program, we’ll be able to address our need for a citywide digital platform in a way that other cities can benefit from as well.”

The city of Bellevue’s initial interests are focused on areas such as public safety, water, transportation, energy, connectivity, and buildings. Still, creating a digital platform and dashboard that will monitor, gather, use, and share data in ways that streamline services for Bellevue employees, businesses, visitors, and residents will take years to develop and implement.

“We are honored to partner with NIST, our city of Bellevue client, and other cities in creating efficient, accessible communities that will provide long-term benefits for citizens and other stakeholders for Bellevue and potentially other cities around the world,” said Joseph Danko, global managing director for CH2M’s Urban Environments & Sports group and leader of the company’s Great City Solutions program.

“Often cities install smart lighting, parking, water, and other systems in a vacuum that are costly to integrate together later on,” added Ken Thompson, CH2M’s deputy director of Intelligent Water Solutions. “Together, we’re creating a citywide platform with a vision for the future that breaks down silos, improves efficiencies, and provides substantial benefits for residents.”