Seeking Smart Streetlights: Creative Procurement in Pittsburgh

by ROBERT BURACK, Data-Smart City Solutions

Pittsburgh is leveraging an effort to replace the entirety of its 40,000 city owned and operated streetlights as an opportunity to enhance city service delivery through connected technology and address neighborhood equity issues. The city is taking an open and iterative approach, learning from the successes of peer cities and from the constraints of its past procurement efforts.

By issuing a less prescriptive and open Request for Information (RFI), Pittsburgh is making room for the rapid pace of smart city innovation. This shows that even a straightforward procurement for something concrete, like streetlights, can turn into an opportunity for creative engagement with vendors and innovators, and for internal problem-solving.

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