Spokane and Urbanova, a living laboratory collaboration and proving ground to design cities for the future, have been recognized with a Smart Cities North America Award (SCNNA) by global research and intelligence firm IDC.

Winners of the award illustrate best practice examples of urban innovation with a particular focus on the use of technology and data, unique partnerships, funding models and/or community involvement, according to IDC. Spokane, one of 16 cities out of 70 submissions recognized nationally, won in the sustainable infrastructure category, along with San Diego, and will be honored at the Smart Cities New York event in May.

“This is tremendous recognition for Spokane and Urbanova as a leader in leveraging partnerships to achieve sustainable infrastructure solutions,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said. “The city is very fortunate to work in collaboration with utility infrastructure, smart metering and communications, higher education, energy efficiency, population health, and urban planning partners for the betterment of the community.”

Urbanova, located in the University District, harnesses data to gain insights, empower people and solve urban challenges in new ways. Outcomes are measured by healthier citizens, safer neighborhoods, smarter infrastructure, a more sustainable environment and a stronger economy.

Among Urbanova’s initial projects are a Smart and Connected Streetlights Pilot Project, Shared Energy Economy Model Pilot and Gallup People-Centered Analysis Research Project. Founding partners are Avista, Itron, McKinstry, University District, Washington State University and the City of Spokane.

“We are intentionally leveraging the advantages of a mid-sized city to identify solutions that are scalable, sustainable and replicable in other communities,” Kim Zentz, Urbanova CEO. “Urbanova innovates through the strength of its unique partnerships.”

Urbanova, under its Smart and Connected Streetlights initiative, installed sensors last June on 10 streetlights across the University District and began collecting data that provides insight into energy savings and efficiency while also measuring climate and hyper-local air quality data, which is used to investigate how air pollution and events such as wildfires affect the health of cities. Additionally, 29 LED fixtures outfitted with dynamic dimming capabilities will be added to study use cases that integrate traffic data with the sensor packages.

As a part of a grant from the Washington Clean Energy Fund, Avista will work with several partners to pilot a Shared Energy Economy model in the University District to improve system efficiency and grid resiliency while providing building owners and non-utility generation asset and building owners economic signals for decision making.

Urbanova partnered with Gallup, the global analytics and advisory company, to uncover public priorities that smart city projects can and should address. The next phase of work for the partnership is to co-develop a system of citizen predictive analytics based on the integration of data sources available on Urbanova’s open data and analytics platform.