Smart city case study: Dallas, Texas

Dallas Innovation Alliance working with Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and more on smart city transformation

The Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) continues to work to turn Dallas into a smart city through the use of IoT technologies. The entity is currently testing several uses cases to implement different technologies to make Dallas a smarter and safer city. DIA is a public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart cities plan for the City of Dallas.

The DIA has 30 public-private partners in their smart city project, and the lead partner is Dallas-based AT&T. Other partners includes Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, AECOM, ParkHub, GE, CIVIQ Smartscapes, Schneider Electric, Philips and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

The Dallas region has had to evolve and innovate to keep up. It houses 19 Fortune 500 company headquarters, and has the ninth largest concentration of technology jobs in the U.S., with 360 people moving to the Dallas region every day.

The Dallas Innovation Alliance is using the Central Business District (West-End Historical District) as a living lab pilot zone. That particular area of Dallas has seen a dip in revenue over the years, but presents an area of potential for the city.

Dallas is creating a Phase I living lab by incorporating five to seven projects in the downtown, West End area. These projects include smart lighting, waste management, digital citizen-centric kiosks, smart irrigation, smart parking and public Wi-Fi. They are testing KPIs around economic development, energy and water cost and usage, public safety, transportation and others.

The outcome of all of these initiatives is to provide a case study for the city to see what worked and what didn’t and determine what to built going forward. The Dallas Innovation Alliance said that the project has been successful so far, with many new tech companies moving to West End, like Snapchat and Accenture.

More specific projects include:

  • Intelligent LED Lighting: street lights in the living lab along Market street will be converted to LED and will be on intelligent controls for remote adjustments and outage tracking.
  • Sensors measuring environmental impacts, including air quality and crowd/noise detection.
  • Waste management: solar powered waste management system increases capacity and productivity, sensors reduce CO2 and tells trucks when waste is high.
  • Interactive digital kiosks allow for public Wi-Fi, energy services and wayfinding/transit options.
  • Free Wi-Fi fiber/cellular LTE to provide coverage.
  • Smart parking – There is access of parking downtown, but no one knows where to find it.
  • Smart irrigation – demonstrate water and maintenance savings.
  • End-to-end mobility solutions. Working with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the DIA is giving citizens a single-point solution, incorporating all modes of transit, including: mass transit, car, rideshare, bike sharing, walking and smart parking solutions.

The DIA said that once they test the technology in the West End, the entity aims to implement similar technology to other parts of the city.


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Juan Pedro Tomás

Juan Pedro Tomás

Contributing Writer, EMEA & APAC

[email protected]

I have a degree in International Relations and a Masters in Journalism. I have worked seven years for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in Latin American markets. I have also worked for Telecompaper as regional editor for Latin America and Asia Pacific. I have also contributed with US-based magazine Latin Trade as the publication’s correspondent in Argentina and with UK-based political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. I am married and I have two kids.