Centennial joins Colorado Smart Cities Alliance to boost infrastructure

Traffic could see big changes as projects roll out to make region more interconnected as population climbs


Waiting at red light after red light on your commute might soon be a hassle of the past.

The city of Centennial announced its membership in the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, a partnership of public, private and academic institutions that includes 12 cities all working to make life easier along the central Front Range, on Sept. 25.

“We're all in the situation of managing growth,” said Stephanie Piko, mayor pro tem of Centennial. The city “can't widen (its) roads more than they already are.”

Instead, Centennial plans to take the technological route with a system of traffic cameras and sensors.  That will enable the city to time its traffic lights more accurately to traffic flows, Piko said. Once crews finish building underground fiber-optic cable throughout the city, which may wrap up in 2018, better internet speeds and capabilities will open the door to that updated traffic monitoring system and other improved city operations — police, fire officers and medical responders would also benefit from getting real-time updates about traffic and accidents.

That's the kind of project that the smart cities alliance aims to share data about among its members.

The cities — Arvada, Aurora, Denver, Centennial, Greenwood Village, Littleton, Lone Tree, Boulder, Longmont, Westminster, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs — plan to share best practices with each other through the alliance. The Colorado Innovation Corridor, Colorado Technology Association, University of Colorado Denver and Arrow Electronics are among the private and public entities also in the partnership.

“We wouldn't want a smart traffic grid to end at the Centennial border and have people trying to get into Greenwood Village and Lone Tree (with difficulty),” Piko said. The alliance meets quarterly to discuss challenges, its website said.

The Denver South Economic Development Partnership, a 35-year old nonprofit and public-private partnership that works to improve the regional economy for Denver, Greenwood Village, Centennial and Lone Tree, founded the alliance, which officially launched Sept. 25, a few months after the announcement of its intention to form. Denver South works as a “technology scout” to those communities, a news release from Centennial said.

At the ceremony, where mayors and officials from the cities gave remarks at the University of Colorado Denver downtown Sept. 25, Piko said it would be great if not only Centennial, but “the whole Centennial state” were to be on the cutting edge in how it develops itself.

“Developing and sharing best practices around (technologies), policies and initiatives will promote innovation and success,” Mayor Cathy Noon said in a statement. “As a founding member of Smart Cities Alliance, we look forward to improving the quality of life in Centennial and for all Coloradans.”


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