The Smart City Evolution: A Roadmap for Vision Zero
Open Data Nation (ODN) along with Microsoft, conducted ground-setting, comprehensive research to support Vision Zero municipalities and save lives. Specifically, they aimed to reveal common challenges, identify best practices, and expose opportunities to use data to inform decision making and prepare for autonomous vehicles. From this research, ODN defined a novel typology, the “Smart City Evolution,” which characterizes municipalities into four stages — initiative, descriptive, active, and adaptive — as they transform from developing Vision Zero action plans to a position of data and technological sophistication.
The Smart City Evolution is intended to be a roadmap, providing strategies that clarify the path for all to zero traffic deaths. It will help Vision Zero municipalities chose a course of action best suited to local circumstances and based on its potential for the greatest impact; effectively and efficiently deploy their resources in education, engineering, and enforcement activities (the “three E’s”); and quantify how many crashes and deaths are avoided.
The four stages of the Smart City Evolution are:
- 1) Initiative Developing action plan with community engagement
- 2) Descriptive Analyzing and visualizing the magnitude of the problem
- 3) Active Responding with activities in known problem areas
- 4) Adaptive Planning ahead and learning how and where to optimize for impact
In 2016, over 40,000 people in the United States died in a traffic crash, the most fatal year since 2007, resulting in estimated costs of $62 billion according to the National Safety Council. To address this dire and deepening problem, 27 municipalities have committed to Vision Zero, a global policy initiative with the goal of zero deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes.