Recently Baltimore submitted a bid to receive federal/private funding for its Smart City development proposal, pitting it against the likes of DC, San Francisco, and Seattle. BEVI is one of many Baltimore organizations which have written letters of support and whose work has helped build and refine this proposal.
The proposal’s guiding mission is “Connecting communities to opportunities in Baltimore for a safe, efficient, sustainable, equitable and economically competitive Smart City.” Job creation is one pillar of this mission. In the introduction, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake identifies Baltimore’s history of being “built around industry” as a primary cause of weaknesses in the current system, particularly disconnectedness between existing infrastructure and hubs, and lays out the proposal’s end-goal of a leading, integrated, world-class transit network. Another element of the value proposition: Baltimore’s transformation could serve as a model for cities across the United States facing similar challenges.
Among the many sections, 4.8: Smart Grid, Roadway Electrification and Electric Vehicles resonates with BEVI’s work and advocacy, setting out a detailed vision of green, activated, and active transportation networks both within Baltimore and across Maryland.
“No matter which city earns the award this June, the big winners here will be Americans everywhere whose communities adopt the best solutions from among the various approaches our 77 applicants have proposed.” – U.S. Department of Transportation
While Baltimore was ultimately not selected as a finalist, the fact that Baltimore was one of the 77 applicants, combined with the bold planning of the Smart City proposal, stands as a testament to the city’s progress and promise. The winner of this competition is yet to be determined from a pool of 7 finalists: Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA.
The future is bright for Baltimore, which has been making headlines as a top EV-friendly city. The Smart City proposal will serve as a foundation for future initiatives and bids for funding. In this vein, BEVI continues its dedication to advocating and advancing an inclusive, intelligent, revitalized transit network in Baltimore and Maryland that prioritizes clean energy, last-mile mobility, and active transportation. En route to this transformation is a cultural shift: a widespread realization that a smart and sustainable future is not only possible, but highly desirable and necessary.