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Dallas Innovation Alliance Releases Case Study and Results of Smart Cities Living Lab

By Ken Briodagh
November 08, 2018

In a recent announcement, the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA), a 501c(3) public-private partnership dedicated to supporting the design and execution of a smart cities strategy in Dallas, announced the release of its year-end case study on the Smart Cities Living Lab, powered by AT&T in Dallas’ West End Historic District.


Launched in March 2017, the Living Lab is a four-block corridor in downtown Dallas housing nine integrated smart city projects, and represents the fastest-to-market smart cities initiative in the country. The Living Lab was executed through the partnership of more than 30 organizations across the public, private, civic and academic sectors; and through collaboration with 20 departments within the City of Dallas.

“The intention of becoming a smart city is to improve operations, sustainability and create an inclusive and prosperous city; testing the data and technology provides a catalyst in preparing Dallas for the future,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “The Dallas Innovation Alliance is a valued partner in elevating a culture of innovation in Dallas, and the insights generated by the Living Lab will be utilized as a tool to evaluate the potential of these technologies to reach our goals as a city.”

The case study provides insight into elements including:

  • Results from the nine active projects in the Living Lab;
  • Overall impacts of the program and community engagement efforts; 
  • Recommendations on highest-value projects for scaled deployment across the city; and those of value for neighborhood-specific expansion;
  • Discussion briefs outlining critical topics for consideration prior to undertaking a large-scale rollout. These topics include cybersecurity, data ownership and monetization, citizen data policies, IoT and smart cities infrastructure standards, open data; legacy zoning standards; data analytics best practices; and
  • Overviews of successful projects by peer cities including: Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Pittsburgh, San Diego and San Jose to show examples of best practices across the country. 

The case study can be viewed and downloaded via the DIA’s website.

“The City of Dallas is using AT&T’s Smart Cities framework and our Internet of Things technology to solve the problems that matter most to the community,” said Michael Zeto, VP, IoT Solutions and General Manager of Smart Cities, AT&T. “In collaboration with the city, we’ve deployed our AT&T Digital Infrastructure nodes, smart street lights, digital kiosks and more to help make the West End neighborhood safer for the people who live and work there.” 

Select insights from the year-end results of the Living Lab include:

  • During the pilot, the West End saw a 13 percent increase in pedestrian traffic flow, local businesses saw a 12 percent increase in revenue, and a crime decrease of six percent year over year. Information from pedestrian mapping provided insights to local businesses on times to capture increased foot traffic. 
  • 35 percent energy reduction from smart lighting pilot; intelligent controls across all of the 85,000 lights present in Dallas would equate to at least 90 million dollars of operational savings over the life of the LED bulbs.
  •  On average, over 440 people utilized the interactive kiosk every month, with 53 percent utilizing multiple functions, including transit information, local points of interest, public facilities and a ‘selfie’ function.
  • Environmental quality saw increased pollutants and particulate matter in the hours following the 4thof July fireworks, these types of insights could be used to educate the public and those suffering from asthma to take precautions when taking in festivities.

“From the beginning of this initiative, the purpose of the Living Lab was to provide valuable insights through ‘test driving’ forward-thinking technologies that benefit the City of Dallas and its residents,” said Jennifer Sanders, Executive Director, Dallas Innovation Alliance. “Through this case study, we are providing our first comprehensive look at the potential of smart city initiatives across our city, and hope to offer a resource that is of value to cities across the country who are embarking on their own smart city programs. We look forward to continuing to capture data in the Living Lab that brings results unique to Dallas’ needs, and are excited to expand our efforts in 2019 into Southern Dallas in Phase II.”

The next phase for the Dallas Innovation Alliance will include projects in Southern Dallas focused on solutions to challenges around mobility, digital divide and public safety, among others. Phase II projects will begin in 2019. In addition, the DIA is partnering with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft and UT-Dallas to launch a smart cities incubator, Innov8te, in the West End to support entrepreneurs and startups focused on solving civic challenges in “8” core areas through emerging technologies and services.


The IoT Evolution Expo, and collocated events, IoT Evolution Health, LPWAN Expo, The Smart City Event, and IIoT Conference, will take place Jan. 29 to Feb 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit IoTEvolutionExpo.com to register now.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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