Smart Cities

Louisville Metro lands $50,000 City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge grant from AWS

Amazon Web Services gives Louisville, KY a grant focusing on improving traffic flow through real-time data. Louisville was one of 19 winners across three award categories.

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Louisville Metro Government received a $50,000 grant from AWS .

Image: iStock/Henryk Sadura

The city of Louisville, KY is the recipient of the Amazon Web Services 2017 City on a Cloud Awards' Dream Big grant for $50,000 in Amazon credits.

Louisville Metro will use the grant to utilize machine learning, real-time traffic data, and IoT for building an adaptive traffic flow management system that can detect systemic changes and make changes to minimize the impact.

The award came at just the right time, according to Michael Schnuerle, Louisville Metro's data officer in the Office of Civic Innovation, because the department had requested $50,000 in funding from city government to support a data warehouse for traffic management.

"Funds were shifted around so we didn't end up getting the money, so we didn't have any way to pay for this idea until we received the grant, which was coincidentally for the same amount of money," Schnuerle said.

SEE: AWS lauds Iowa City, Virginia Beach, other cities for cloud innovations (ZDNet)

The grant is in the form of Amazon credits from AWS, so the city can use the $50,000 to pay for the needed cloud services, he explained.

This is the second grant that Louisville Metro has received from AWS. In 2015, the city won $50,000 in credits in Amazon's City on a Cloud contest for best practices. For that project, the city used AWS to store Waze real-time data and use it to better manage traffic flow. The new award allows the city to expand on that success with a larger mobility project with the traffic engineering department, Schnuerle said.

The reason it's necessary for the city to have access to cloud services is because of the need to innovate quickly. "As an innovation office, we want to move fast on this, and if we were trying to set this up internally inside of the city, it would be a large project that would take a lot of time and require a lot of employees to make it happen. But if we can move it to the cloud, all that infrastructure and hardware is already there, and it becomes more of a task of moving the information around and it makes everything faster," Schnuerle explained.

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Image: Louisville Metro Government

Overall, AWS grants were given to 14 city governments and five businesses for the use of cloud tools to improve public services. There were three awards categories: Best Practices, Dream Big, and Partners in Innovation. The competition recognized how local and regional governments are innovating on behalf of citizens across the globe.

"We continue to be amazed by the work that our customers are doing around the world to better serve citizens. This year's City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge produced inspiring applications from cities, police departments, school districts, and our partners that use real-time data analytics, IoT services, and open data projects, all on the AWS Cloud," said Teresa Carlson, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector, AWS, in a press release. "AWS is proud to recognize this year's winners and showcase the innovation to improve our roads, provide digital learning to all students, and benefit first responders."

Other government entities receiving recognition include:

  • City of Virginia Beach, VA
  • City of Tulsa, OK
  • Solodev and Seminole County Public Schools in Florida
  • Lawrence Police Department in Kansas
  • Transport for London in London, England
  • Intermediate School District 287 in Minneapolis, MN
  • Caltrans in California
  • City of Iowa City, IA
  • Marmion Academy, Aurora, IL
  • City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Washington School Information Processing Cooperative, Everett, WA
  • Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, WA
  • City of Las Vegas, NV

Businesses receiving recognition include:

  • Anthemis Technologies, France
  • Blue Spurs, Canada
  • LearnZillion, US
  • Tolemi, US
  • Xaqt, US

The top 3 takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Louisville Metro received a $50,000 grant from AWS, and it will use the funding to improve traffic flow through real-time data.
  2. This is the second AWS grant that Louisville Metro has received.
  3. Amazon Web Services 2017 City on a Cloud Awards' grants were given to 14 city governments and five businesses for the use of cloud tools to improve public services.

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About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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