AWS Announces the Winners of “City on a Cloud”

Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced the winners of its “City on a Cloud” innovation challenge. There were many categories and prizes announced for the winners.

This “City on a Cloud” is an annual challenge open for governments at all levels to see how best they use AWS’ services to improve the lives of people. many categories, including innovation, small cities, big cities, ideas, and more are awarded.

This year, Louisville won the most prominent award, which is the “Dream Big” category. It was given this award for its implementation of machine learning and IoT systems to build an efficient traffic flow management that can adapt the local infrastructure to mitigate the problems that come with traffic congestion.

Another city that made it to the top award is Seattle. Known for its efficient planning and liberal use of technology, this city was awarded for its Open Data 2017. Under this plan, the city has identified five priority areas, the information for which will be available in real-time in the city’s portal. It’s new web design has increased awareness and it is estimated that the new site has 25 percent more users than the old one.

This portal displays relevant data sets to the public, who can use it for their own analysis, and maybe even come up with systems that’ll improve the overall quality of life in the city.

Boston has also started a similar initiative and calls it “Analyze Boston.”

One of the significant developments that was explained during the “City on a Cloud” awards function is that 12 cities have joined together to use technology to combat climate change. Given President Trump’s stance on this issue and his withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, this is an important move that’s essential to fight the real problems of environmental degradation.

These cities are posting information from US EPA on their site, before the website is taken down completely. In fact, Chicago has emerged as the leader in this area with its “City of Chicago Climate Change is Real” portal. In this site, Chicago talks about the real dangers of climate change, tons of data on this and the possible steps that each citizen can take to protect their world. It gives clear actionable steps that can be implemented individually and collectively.

The other cities in this effort are Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, Louisville, Milwaukee, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, Fayetteville in Arkansas and Evanston in Illinois.

City of Virginia Beach is another recipient of this award for its efforts to protect coastal flooding that occurs from storm surges and tides. A unique aspect of StormSense, a IoT-based app developed for predicting and managing flooding, is that it can be replicated across all coastal cities.

It is heartening to see these developments, especially the efforts taken by different cities to tap into the power of technology to improve the overall quality of life for its residents. Let’s hope that there more such “City in a Cloud” awards that enthuse more local governments to work for the welfare of their residents.

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