CONNECTING AND SECURING COMMUNITIES: A Guide for Federal Agencies Supporting Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment of Technology for Smart Cities and Communities


View Full TextNITRD-Connecting-Securing-Communities-Federal-Guide-2018.pdf

Communities in the United States, from rural towns to large cities, are motivated by a vision in which digital technologies are integrated into infrastructure and services to create new jobs, improve the economy, and enhance safety and security for their residents. This vision of smart cities and communities will be realized by empowering Americans to innovate in their local communities, industries, and academic institutions.

The Smart Cities and Communities Task Force, a body under the NITRD Cyber-Physical Systems Interagency Working Group, developed Connecting and Securing Communities to provide Federal agencies with guidance in supporting research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) of technology to enable U.S. cities and communities to build “smart” infrastructure, systems, and services. Throughout the report, emphasis is placed on empowering local governments and their stakeholders to use partnerships to define and carry out activities that meet shared and individual community needs. Coordination across Federal agencies will accelerate development of smart city/community solutions.

Connecting and Securing Communities provides five high-level recommended practices to inform Federal agencies in supporting smart city and community efforts:

  • Empower local and regional communities to identify their unique needs and develop solutions;
  • Accelerate innovation in infrastructure and city/community services;
  • Support job growth and drive economic competitiveness;
  • Facilitate cross-sector collaboration and bridge existing silos; and
  • Boost exports and promote U.S. global leadership.

Four effective approaches are also identified to assist agencies in facilitating job growth and economic prosperity through Federally funded RDD&D efforts in smart cities and communities. These approaches are illustrated with case studies describing current and past Federal programs and projects.

  • Promote fundamental R&D and transition innovations to practice for smart cities/communities;
  • Facilitate local efforts for secure and resilient infrastructure, systems, and services for smart cities/communities;
  • Enable smart cities/communities advances through data and knowledge sharing, best practices, and collaboration; and
  • Enable evaluation of progress and long-term growth of smart cities/communities.

Connecting and Securing Communities envisions Federal agencies working together and engaging with industry, local leaders, civil society, academia, and other key stakeholders to accelerate the development and implementation of new discoveries and innovations that enable cities and communities to achieve their local goals and address their most important challenges. Interagency coordination will ensure Federal investments are effectively targeted; States, tribes, and localities are encouraged to self-help; infrastructure investments are well-aligned for sustained and efficient investment; and private sector capabilities are effectively leveraged for success.