Cities Seem to be Getting All the Limelight
There is an awful lot of talk about "smart cities," but a lot less discussion of "smart states." And while my quick research is probably not scientific, I do think it is significant that an Internet search of "smart cities" produced about 9,490,000 results, while a similar search of "smart states" produced 57,400 results (so about one-half of one percent as many). And as best as I can tell, only two states - Illinois and Virginia - are making concrete plans to become "smart states."
Smart grids, smart power, smart streets and smart infrastructure - and the use of data they produce - will provide enormous benefits for residents, businesses and governments. Such capabilities will certainly affect the attractiveness of cities, regions and states for economic development.
As the responses to Amazon's requests for proposals to locate a new headquarters demonstrate, the capabilities of "smart cities" are a key component of the offers. So, facilitating the development of "smart cities" ought to be a no-brainer for government officials.
While "smart cities" is the common nomenclature, there should be a role for the state government and the state PUC in such efforts. Regional economic development is unlikely to reside within any one city within a state, thus calling for state-wide actions to become smart.