There is a great article on Digital Trends about Pena Station Next. Here’s an excerpt:
Your city is dumb. The potholed streets, coin-operated parking meters, and drafty brick buildings many of us interact with every day haven’t changed much in a century. But it’s finally happening. From Oslo to San Diego, cities across the globe are installing technology to gather data in the hopes of saving money, becoming cleaner, reducing traffic, and improving urban life. In Digital Trends’ Smart Cities series, we’ll examine how smart cities deal with everything from energy management, to disaster preparedness, to public safety, and what it all means for you.
You can’t really talk about what’s happening in Denver without mentioning what’s happening 5,800 miles away in Fujisawa, the Japanese town Panasonic built on top of its old factory outside Tokyo. Its 600 homes and 400 apartments — all sold out but still filling up — were designed to withstand earthquakes, are all outfitted with solar panels, and are all hooked up to the smart grid. It took over a decade to get Fujisawa up and running, but Panasonic wanted to reproduce it in the U.S. using an already established city.
And it chose Denver.
WHAT’S DENVER GOT?
“We had previously scoured 25, 30 cities throughout the United States.” Jarrett Wendt, executive vice president of strategic innovations at Panasonic, told Digital Trends. “We struggled, frankly, to come up with a business model and plan for replicability.” But Denver offered something special: Leaders promised Panasonic they wouldn’t push back as it tried to implement new technologies. “That was the most compelling argument we heard,” said Wendt. “Essentially the mayor and the governor said, ‘We’re in.’”
You can read the entire article here.