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Smart Incentives Drive Smart Cities Smart Incentives Drive Smart Cities

Smart Incentives Drive Smart Cities

This article is part of Ice Miller’s Smarter Cities Guide, designed for municipal leaders, city administrators, urban planners, and economic developers. In this guide, your team will find opportunities to explore best practices and utilize checklists to develop the infrastructure, to understand the technology, and to implement the financial and legislative solutions needed to build a smarter city. Click here to learn more.

How will your city fund smart connections for economic growth? The future of federally-funded incentives for smart connections is unclear. However, forward-thinking municipal leaders understand that the success of each city depends upon its ability to quickly and reliably deliver resources, amenities and commerce to its citizens.

New revenue sources may need to be created through partnerships like P3s. Cities may also need to explore state and local tax incentive structures to drive funding sources.

You can be prepared to leverage any opportunities that arise by reviewing the following checklist with your team of strategic advisors.

1. Understand the funding types
  • Public-private partnerships (“P3”)
  • Government bonds and financing
  • Special taxing districts and tax increments
  • Grants, financing & loans for innovation and energy
  • Economic incentives for business attraction
2. Understand the funding sources
  • Federal
  • State
  • Local
  • Regional
  • Foundation/Non-profit
3. Understand your funding drivers
  • Federal tax credit zones
  • Level of distress and poverty
  • Technology commercialization activity
  • Product demand
4. Inventory your community assets
  • Community budget
  • Transportation assets
  • Private sector participation
  • Anchor employers
  • Population demographics
  • Workforce & talent
  • Educational institutions
5. Understand the needs of your consumers (residents and industry)
  • A talented workforce follows vibrant neighborhoods, which creates an asset in attracting businesses to your community
  • Businesses are looking to differentiate through enhanced brand identity
  • Businesses are placing an increased emphasis on the Triple Bottom Line [1] (environmental, financial, social)
  • Residents and employees are gravitating toward creative, collaborative neighborhoods with quality amenities
Municipal leaders are not alone in preparing for the next smart city opportunity. Business leaders should also take action now in order to maximize opportunities as they arise.
Step #1
Evaluate how the existing community’s assets enhance your vision

Step #2
Understand where you fit with Smart Cities initiatives

Step #3
Identify opportunities for government partnerships

Step #4
Understand the resources to lower your cost of doing business

Step #5
Identify available workforce and workforce development institutions and programs

For more information on the IoT, contact a member of our Internet of Things Industry Group. This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
[1] “Core Values – Why American Companies are Moving Downtown” app/legacy/documents/core-values.pdf
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