Smart City Committee

In May 2016, the Metropolitan Council unanimously adopted Metro Council Resolution 52157 in establishing a Smart City Committee consisting of representatives from the Office of the Mayor-President, Metro Council, local and state economic development organizations, transportation officials, higher education institutions, technology incubators, and more. This committee meets regularly to identify and coordinate opportunities focused on pursuing and leveraging technology-based solutions to influence public policy and decision making, data management and collaboration, and civic engagement and education.

The work of this committee is evident in successes such as an award granted in August 2017 by the National Science Foundation to Louisiana State University researchers through NSF’s Smart & Connected Communities program. The grant provides resources for LSU researchers to work hand-in-hand with City-Parish agencies and other community stakeholders, especially those with access to data that can be used to inform solution development for common civic issues such as traffic and blight, using the Smart City Committee as a mechanism to facilitate such collaboration.

This committee also provides a formal structure for development of strategies and vetting of key initiatives that can help to propel our City-Parish forward with smart city planning, helping to inform priority setting at a municipal government level while supporting the adoption of projects (and securing of supporting funding) that involve multiple stakeholder groups. The model that exists through this committee is one that other municipalities are able to learn from and utilize to their own advantage, primarily in the way it codifies structures for stakeholders to interact and communicate across data and organizational siloes in pursuit of shared goals and strategies, and has been considered an important input in Baton Rouge being named a Top 5 Digital City by the Center for Digital Government in 2016 and again in 2017.