The city of Racine is one of five cities from the U.S. to win the Smart Cities Council's Smart Cities Readiness Challenge, a nationwide competition recognizing cities that demonstrate their commitment to becoming a smart city.
More than 100 cities applied for this year's competition, according to a news release from Racine officials, who accepted the award at the 3rd Annual Smart Cities Week in San Diego on Tuesday.
Racine, with a population of 79,000, is the smallest city to ever win the competition, according to officials.
"Winning the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of work in which the city has brought together amazing community partners around the idea that we can use technology to deliver better services to our residents while at the same time creating a more inclusive and equitable city," said Racine Mayor Cory Mason in a statement. "I have always said we get things done in Racine through collaboration. I want to thank Gateway Technical College, UW-Parkside, RCEDC, Racine County, and Foxconn their continued partnership, vision, and leadership.”
In March, Foxconn Technology Group entered into an agreement with Racine officials to help the municipality pursue and implement smart city technologies.
Racine officials entered the competition to help address "specific opportunities and inequities facing the community," like developing greater access to high-speed internet, building multimodal methods of transit to provide better access to jobs, technology to improve public safety and efforts to lower its carbon footprint.
As winners, Racine officials will receive resources, mentoring, access to financing to explore alternative business models and travel scholarships to Smart Cities Week twice per year to continue their learning.