The City of Orlando is regarded as an early adopter of innovations in technology and sustainability that benefit its residents and communities. The City has set an ambitious goal to be one of America’s new Future-Ready cities by incorporating smart city technologies. This initiative requires collaboration and consensus about how a city should prioritize and implement important programs that provide innovation, access, and equal opportunity across all neighborhoods.
As the prime consultant for Future-Ready, VHB is helping the City engage important stakeholders. Local governments, the business community, educational partners, utility providers, nonprofits, and residents are working to develop a Future-Ready roadmap to define and organize actionable efforts across seven pillars: Connectivity, Energy, Health and Safety, Built Environment, Mobility, Water, and Materials.
Our team is collecting input in several ways, including internal city stakeholder discussions, focus-area roundtables for each pillar, public workshops, and an online virtual platform where all residents can provide feedback. This process led to the identification and prioritization of short-term strategies that are important to the residents of Orlando, and the VHB Team is preparing conceptual plans, life cycle assessments, and business models to implement the actions. Additional long-term strategies are included as part of a living document that will evolve as technology and innovation progress.
Pilot initiatives could include:
- Bridge the Digital Divide–Implement public Wi-Fi hotspot and device checkout programs.
- Resilience–Provide resilience hubs for back-up energy and connectivity to vulnerable populations.
- Targeted Innovation–Challenge local organizations and start-up communities to decrease housing construction costs or develop recycling apps.
- Mobility Experience–Implement mode-shift reward programs and smart parking advancement.
- Digital Twin & Smart Building–Develop a City digital twin and create AR/VR experiences at recreational locations.
- Materials–Build food recovery networks.
Big-picture projects like Orlando Future-Ready with clients who share VHB’s commitment to healthy, strong, smart communities have a significant impact on the places where we live, work, and play. The Future-Ready City Master Plan will allow Orlando to build the future by leveraging innovation, technology, and collaboration for a more sustainable, equitable, and smarter city.