As an original US Ignite Gig City with a municipally owned utility and fiber network (which provides an astonishing 10 gigs to the home), Lafayette, Louisiana is competing with cities more than twice its size. Lafayette has proven that smart city efforts are possible anywhere but knows that building public trust and delivering a return on investment are as necessary as the infrastructure needed for data driven initiatives.
A devastating flood event in August 2016 provided the public support for Lafayette to address a long-standing drainage challenge with smart technology. Through a grant from the EPA’s Smart City Air Challenge in November 2016, Lafayette moved fast and partnered with CGI, the University of Louisiana and eight other partners to deploy 250-300 smart air quality –and later water sensors. With this new technology in real time, Lafayette can better understand its environment in order to design a stormwater management system that aims to be agile and efficient. Building on this momentum, Lafayette is prioritizing and addressing other citizen concerns through smart city technology across departments including utility usage, transportation, land use planning, public safety and connecting with citizens.