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White House announces ‘smart cities’ initiative

The Obama administration will provide more than US$160 million for research designed to improve urban living. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/DPA/LANDOV)

U. S. President Barack Obama has unveiled a sweeping strategy designed to help cities tackle challenges ranging from traffic congestion to crime. The “Smart Cities” initiative would invest more than US$160 million in federal research and partner with more than 25 technology collaborations, says.

Other goals include improving delivery of city services, boosting energy efficiency and economic growth and combatting climate change and pollution. The Obama administration aims to spur deployment of sensors that collect citywide data and technologies such as self-driving cars and intelligent transportation systems.  

The White House also is encouraging U. S. mayors to collaborate with universities, companies and foreign cities on innovative solutions to improve urban life. The National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology would receive funding for urban research. The departments of Energy, Commerce and Transportation, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, also would be involved. 

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