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The City of Newport News Hosts Smart City Workshop

By Ken Briodagh February 08, 2018

The City of Newport News, Virginia recently hosted a Smart Cities Readiness Workshop with the aim of creating a strategy to develop smart infrastructure to benefit the region. The workshop was delivered by the Smart Cities Council as part of its Readiness Program, which helps communities craft action plans to further innovation, inclusion and investment.

“This workshop is about sharing ideas, concepts and solutions to take this region to new heights and I am excited about the possibilities,” said McKinley Price, Mayor, Newport News, Virginia. “It will also help to solidify the Hampton Roads region as a hub for technology and innovation.”

More than 125 people participated in the workshop, including Price, former Virginia State Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson, and Andy Stein, Newport News Director of IT, as well as city officials, city and county department heads, technology innovators, local business leaders, university representatives and community stakeholders.

Workshop participants discussed several initiatives like:

  • Converting all of its street lights to energy-efficient LEDs to have better access to usage trends as a tool to promote conservation.
  • Improving public safety by aggregating video from various sources and providing it to first responders as they arrive on the scene as well as using GIS tools to provide indoor maps of buildings to help guide responders to incidents faster.
  • Enabling access to open data to help citizens make better choices and providing free Wi-Fi to those who do not have access at home.

“The Readiness Program is all about helping cities craft a vision and action plan to deliver results for the entire community,” said Philip Bane, Managing Director, Smart Cities Council. “The Council will continue to work with Newport News to build upon this foundation to help the city become more livable, workable and sustainable.”

Gannett Fleming and Sensus, a Xylem brand, both sponsored the workshop. Each company has partnered with the Smart Cities Council to help communities make informed decisions when implementing smart technologies.

“Gannett Fleming has a more than 100-year-long track record of using our engineering and infrastructure expertise to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve,” said Jessica Hou, PE, BCEE, ENV SP, VP, Gannett Fleming. “We look forward to partnering with Newport News – whose commitment was evident by the robust participation in this workshop – to address the unique challenges and opportunities that come with building a smart city.”

The City of Newport News was a finalist for Smart Cities Council’s 2017 Readiness Challenge Grants, which helped the winning cities of Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia advance key initiatives such as improving transportation, developing smart growth plans and reducing racial inequality.


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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