Smart Cities

Washington, DC

An Inclusive Smart City

Regulatory simplicity and unparalleled access to policymakers coupled with avid technological advances in cloud computing, machine learning, internet of things, and sensor technologies have helped shape DC into the #6 smartest city in the world

The smart cities and civic solutions industry area include leading companies and entrepreneurs working on infrastructure, energy, mobility, sustainability, municipal service delivery, civic engagement and more. Learn how Washington, DC expedites groundbreaking ideas into realities.

Quick Facts

#6 Smartest City in the World

Washington, DC ranked #1 among nearly 130 cities located around the globe who were measured against: human capital, social cohesion, public management, government, environment, mobility, urban planning, international outreach, and technology.

Source: IESE Cities In Motion Index 2017

#1 Transit System in the US

DC was ranked the #1 transit system in the country, emphasizing our strong public transit and air travel infrastructure. The DC subway system, known as Metro, handles over 200 million trips per year, making it the second largest system by ridership in the U.S. That is in addition to a bus system that handles another 130 million trips annually.

Source: Smart Asset

#1 Most LEED Certified Buildings in the US

Noted as the ‘center of green building’ by the US Green Building Council in 2017, Washington, D.C. has a whopping 29.04 square feet of LEED space per resident, more than any individual state in the US.

Source: US Green Building Council, 2017

“Top 5 Smart Gigabit Community”

The District was recognized for it’s smart community efforts to leverage intelligent city infrastructure, including connected devices, sensors, and data analytics to improve the quality of life for residents, enhance economic growth, and address city challenges. Current District smart city initiatives include Smart Waste Management, Movement Analytics, and Water Quality Sensing.

Source: US Ignite

Why Smart Cities Companies Choose DC

Regulatory Simplicity

DC is a city, county and state government all in one. This unitary structure means DC can be quick and nimble in addressing the policy and regulatory changes that allow for testing smart cities innovations.

Proximity to Policymakers

With unparalleled proximity to federal policymakers, regulatory agencies and thought leaders, DC is an ideal place for companies seeking to influence policy and operate in regulated industries.

Robust Infrastructure

DC has open and unmonitored Wifi that connects more than 15 million users, nearly 5 times the use of other U.S. smart cities.

Local Innovation

DC Government is an active partner to innovators, and government agencies are hungry to innovate. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer is spearheading Pennsylvania 2040, a public-private partnership to create a smart city proof of concept. DC’s Department of Transportation helped roll out Starship Technologies’ food delivery robots. The Department of Employment Services and the Department of Energy and the Environment together launched the SolarWorks DC career pathway program.

Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

In 2016 DC passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act, committing DC to sourcing at least 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2023.

Culture of Entrepreneurship

DC is home to many technology and civic-focused impact incubators and accelerators such as 1776Halcyon, SEED Spot, Impact Hub, Center for Green Urbanism, DCode42, Open Gov Hub to support new smart cities companies.

Most Educated Workforce

According to a 2016 U.S. Census Bureau community survey, Washington, DC has the most educated metropolitan area in the country. As one of the most competitive workforces of any city in the world, DC sustains a competitive edge in smart cities innovation.

Resources for Smart Cities Companies:

Visit, a searchable database of all incentives and other DC support programs for companies.

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

Business Spotlight


Measure provides your business with the critical data it needs to strengthen operations, reduce risk and costs, increase productivity, and protect workers. As the only national Drone as a Service® operator, MEASURE offers a suite of solutions leveraging the latest technology.

WDCEP leads the #WeDC campaign, the most successful digital campaign at SXSW for two years running.

WDCEP runs DC’s presence at ICSC RECon, retail’s leading conference which brings together 30,000+ leaders in the industry.

WDCEP regularly convenes public and private DC business leaders across sectors.

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