Continuing its history of innovation and collaboration, the City of Orlando is taking steps to become “America’s premiere Future-Ready City” by developing a Future-Ready City Master Plan that harnesses smart technology to develop solutions that will improve the sustainability, resilience, and equity of the city and its communities.
The Orlando Future-Ready initiative required collaboration and consensus among stakeholders to prioritize programs and efforts that will address current and future challenges. VHB partnered with the city to engage the community in the planning process, collecting input through stakeholder discussions, focus-area roundtables, public workshops, and an online virtual feedback platform. The input helped the team identify and prioritize short-term strategies, and prepare conceptual plans, life cycle assessments, and business models to implement these strategies. The plan is organized by focus areas representing the major services provided by the city—Connectivity, Energy, Water, Health and Safety, Materials, Mobility, and Placemaking—and includes mid- to long-term strategies that will evolve as technology and innovation progress.
One of the key components of the initiative is resilience planning, which includes measures to improve disaster preparedness and energy efficiency. The city is implementing solutions such as public Wi-Fi hotspots, a mobile device checkout program, resilience hubs for backup energy, an autonomous circulator for downtown transportation, smart parking and digital wayfinding advancements, a digital twin of the city for performance modeling and simulations, and zero waste planning.
Initiatives like Orlando Future-Ready reflect VHB’s commitment to help our clients be prepared for the future and support healthy, strong, and smart communities in meaningful ways. By remaining open to new ideas and fostering relationships between city officials, stakeholders, and their constituents while leveraging technology, the City of Orlando can cultivate a sustainable and equitable community that becomes a center of innovation, technological advancement, and resilience.