Smart Cities

Washington, DC | An Inclusive Smart City

From integrating IoT, technology innovations, and legislative simplicity to its proximity to federal research labs, thought leaders, policy expertise and smart cities investment dollars, learn how Washington, DC expedites groundbreaking ideas into realities.

In IESE Cities in Motion Index 2017 released in May 2017, nearly 130 cities located around the globe were measured against the following indicators to determine just how smart each city is: human capital, social cohesion, public management, government, environment, mobility, urban planning, international outreach, and technology.

Washington, DC ranks #6 on their list, a key indicator that our smart city initiatives – including Smarter DC and Project 2040 –  is making our city’s infrastructure, population, and culture better than ever. 

IoT will become common in tomorrow’s District—technologies will enhance the public’s experience in the city. – Office of the Chief Technology Officer

With our ability to accommodate innovation through legislative and jurisdictional simplicity, Washington, DC has become a breeding ground for new ideas and products. Of the parts that initially comprised Apple’s first iPhone, 22 of them were initially developed in federal research labs here in DC. We also proudly serve as the pilot city for food delivery robots – one of the first autonomous vehicles to hit the streets in partnership by Starship Technologies and Postmates – made possible by DC policymakers ability to seamlessly create and pass autonomous vehicle legislation to enable robotic delivery.

#6 Smartest City in the World – IESE Cities In Motion Index 2017

The city’s open, unmonitored wifi connects more than 15 million users, nearly 5 times the use of other US smart cities. And while we are committed to making DC smarter, we are also committed to ensure our innovation is also inclusive.

Across the city, leaders in the government and technology communities are teaming up to reshape Washington, DC’s infrastructure, transportation, and legislation to make DC the smartest city in the world.

Top leaders in urban sustainable development locate in the District. DC boast top public sector organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, the World Bank, think tanks, and professional associations who have all developed around smart city and other civic issues. This advantage is amplified given the high concentration of expertise in data management and confidentiality. This concentration of expertise, unique to DC, creates a significant opportunity in being first adopters and innovators in new technologies that involve significant regulatory questions such as autonomous vehicles.

How else does Washington, DC stack up?

  • #2 Locale for America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. – Inc Magazine
  • Washington, DC has the most LEED certified buildings in the country – US Green Building Council, 2017
  • 11.6% second-highest GDP increase. – US Census
  • #3 top emerging tech corridor in US. – Cushman & Wakefield
  • #7 City for Corporate Innovation – Innovation Leaders
  • Top 5 Smart Gigabit Community – US Ignite
  • Top Smart City to Watch 2017 – StateScoop
  • DC also has strong public transit and air travel infrastructure compared to many other American cities. SmartAsset ranked DC’s Metro Transit system #1 in the US.
  • Companies such as Uber, Lyft, RideScout, Bridj, Urban StemsStarship Technologies and TransitScreen have started a movement not just within the transportation space, but in using mobile technology and data to transform the way that people interact with cities.

Learn more about DC’s Smart City Ecosystem in the 2017 DC Economic Strategy Report.


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2016/17 DC Business Guide

This guide covers information essential to relocating, starting, and expanding a business into DC.

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