The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Columbus, Ohio, is the winner of the inaugural Smart City Challenge, for which Denver has been a contender.
The top prize for the U.S. Department of Transportation contest includes $50 million in federal grants. Denver proposed to use that money for data analysis, electric transportation and other missions.
The Dispatch based its story on a confirmation from Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio’s office.
It’s worth noting that Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther declined to comment to the Dispatch.
We’re awaiting comment from USDOT. Mayor Michael Hancock’s office had just seen the news when we called.
In a press release this morning, USDOT said it plans to work with all seven finalist cities. The release said a winner will be announced at the end of the month.
“Each of our finalist cities has demonstrated incredible vision and creativity in developing meaningful plans to use technology to improve the lives of their citizens and create a truly smart city,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in the press release. “There has been a remarkable spirit of cooperation as these cities moved through the competition, and working together with our partners, we are excited to help empower all seven finalists to move forward in creating smart cities.”
That press release implied there will be financial support from public and private partners for all the cities, though not the large amount granted to the winner.
Denver’s application had become a source of contention locally, with protestors saying it was hypocritical for the city to support the expansion of I-70 at the same time it was claiming Smart City status.