Portman, Brown Urge Secretary of Transportation to Award "Smart Cities" Grant to Columbus

May 24, 2016 | Press Releases

Portman, Brown Lead Ohio Delegation Letter Citing the City’s Leadership in Innovation & Research Capabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and the entire Ohio delegation urged U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to award its Smart City Challenge grant to the city of Columbus, Ohio.  Citing its leadership in innovation and research as well as its geographic fit, the delegation sent the letter to Secretary Foxx praising the city of Columbus, which is one of seven cities vying for the award.

“Columbus is the ideal Smart City because of its impressive economic and population growth, culture of education and innovation, history of successful project delivery, and its current and proposed investments in intelligent transportation systems,” said Portman, Brown and the entire Ohio delegation.  “We believe it is clear that Columbus is the most deserving among the finalists.”

NOTE:  Following is the text of the bipartisan letter signed by both Ohio senators and all 15 House members to the Secretary of Transportation following his visit to Columbus last week:

The Honorable Anthony Foxx

Secretary

United States Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E.

Washington, D.C.  20590

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We write in strong support of the City of Columbus (Columbus), Ohio and its application to the Smart Cities Challenge Program.  We believe it is clear that Columbus is the most deserving among the finalists. 

As the 15th largest city in the country and a 10-hour drive to 47 percent of the U.S. population, Columbus has the geographic fit and demographics to ensure that the Smart Cities Challenge provides a successful baseline and example for the rest of the country.  The city has seen tremendous economic success and is the fastest growing metropolitan city in the Midwest.  It was recently named the number one opportunity city by Forbes Magazine.  The region has achieved this economic growth through unique collaboration between public, private, and nonprofit organizations.  In fact, over 100 stakeholders in the region support Columbus and its goal to become the Smart City. 

Columbus is also a leader in innovation and research.  It is home to some of the top academic and research institutions in the world, such as The Ohio State University and the OSU Center for Automotive Research, Battelle, and IBM’s Client Center for Advanced Analytics.  In addition, the Columbus region is currently pursuing projects that would implement the Smart City Challenge vision.  For example, the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s Bus Rapid Transit project seeks to connect the busiest parts of the city to its downtown. 

Columbus is the ideal Smart City because of its impressive economic and population growth, culture of education and innovation, history of successful project delivery, and its current and proposed investments in intelligent transportation systems.  

We ask that you please give all due consideration to this request. Thank you.

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