Virginia looking for offshore development strategies

Virginia– The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has posted a request for proposals (RFP) seeking qualified contractors to help deploy strategies that will strengthen Virginia’s position in attracting the offshore wind supply chain and service industry. Proposals are due by June 22. Strategies from the chosen contractor will be used to inform offshore wind (OSW) development firms, the Virginia maritime industry and state and local decision-makers.


Those replying to the RFP should have expertise in OSW development, particularly as it relates to the industry supply chain, port infrastructure requirements, build-out of the various OSW supply chain sectors and long-term maritime service needs. Questions regarding the content of this RFP must be submitted on or before June 12 through email to Al Christopher at

City of Warren to develop $125M walkable downtown

Michigan– The city of Warren is seeking a developer to build a walkable downtown around its city hall and a raised, enclosed, climate-controlled pedestrian bridge to draw in nearby foot traffic. The city will issue a request for proposals April 9 to create this walkable downtown, which is likely to cost $125 million or more. The 16 acres of walking space will run along Van Dyke Avenue and across from a technical center for motor vehicles.


Warren’s Town Center proposal will include a luxury hotel, upscale grocery store, residential units and assorted retail stores. The city of Warren plans to seek grants, offer tax incentives and work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to contribute to the cost of the project. The city’s Downtown Development Authority approved $4.6 million for infrastructure improvements in the area.

Beach town wants to be part of 2028 Olympics

California– Redondo Beach is embracing the Olympic spirit and pitching a design for a new water front Olympic venue for the summer 2028 games. The city originally wanted to build a venue to host water polo, swimming or boating events but the Olympic committee already awarded that project to Long Beach. Instead the city may become the site of cultural events, festivities or a training facility.


A newly formed city subcommittee will work on a formal proposal while city officials work on a bid to acquire a 51-acre site for a public-private partnership. The city envisions a 6-mile course that would start at King Harbor, run south along the coast and loop at the Palos Verdes Peninsula, with spectators watching from the bluffs along The Esplanade

Trillions to be invested in smart cities 

Cities across the country are rushing to embrace smart city connectivity in a variety of ways. The internet of things (IoT) makes it possible to connect municipal services to citizens in ways that enrich their lives – using data and connectivity to improve efficiency and quality of life. From smart trash cans to sound-sensing streetlights to parking space monitors, cities are trying it all.

Connected transportation may see some of the largest investments in the IoT sector, which experts at the nonprofit Smart America Challenge estimate to reach up to $41 trillion in worldwide investments over the next 20 years.

Autonomous vehicles are being tested all over the country in places where connected infrastructure exists. Last week, a self-driving truck traveled 120 miles over a Colorado interstate to deliver 2,000 cases of beer. Self-driving cars are being tested in about a dozen American cities and government officials are drafting policies for the use of the autonomous vehicles that will be available to the general public soon.

Self-driving vehicles are not the only improvements in connected transportation. Last year, the Utah Department of Transportation equipped more than 500 vehicles, including snowplows, with GPS trackers. Citizens are able to access snowplow locations to plan their trips and the department can receive immediate notification of any mechanical problems.

The city of Columbus, Ohio, was recently named a Smart City Challenge winner by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The city won a $40 million grant for a holistic plan to improve citizens’ lives with smart transportation. Officials will use data to improve access to healthcare by offering more transportation options to those in critical need as well as offer self-driving shuttles from a transit center to a retail district.

“The Smart City Challenge required each city to think about transportation as cross-functional, not in silos, but as a transportation ecosystem,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The bold initiatives they proposed demonstrated that the future of transportation is not just about using technology to make our systems safer and more efficient – it’s about using these advanced tools to make life better for all people, especially those living in underserved communities.”

Denver officials are planning to use a $6 million grant to implement three intelligent vehicle projects. The projects will include a connected traffic management center and short-range communications equipment deployed in 1,500 city fleet vehicles. Trucks will also be equipped with pedestrian detection equipment.

In San Antonio, a planned connected transportation information project will incorporate a high water detection system. The city will also install a pedestrian detection system at crosswalks.

Aneri Pattani recently reported for that cities are cities are also investing in air-quality sensors, solar-powered trash compactors and self-healing power grids.

“Analysts estimates on the urban innovation trend are eye-popping — but right now it’s as much for how greatly they vary as for how big the market may ultimately grow to be. Some analysts peg the smart cities market to be worth about $27.5 billion annually by 2023, while others say the market could reach as much as $757 billion by 2020,” wrote Pattani.

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