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Policy Statement 557 - Smart Cities


Approved by the Transportation Policy Committee on July 16, 2018 
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on August 7, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Direction on October 11, 2018


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the integration of technology into our transportation infrastructure systems in order to build strong community connectivity, workability, and resiliency. 

All transportation modes should be incorporated into the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) city infrastructure planning to ensure optimal choices for the community. Emerging technology that is incorporated into our transportation infrastructure can be used to enhance human productivity. Collected data should be used in an appropriate manner, with private sector and government entities working together to ensure personal privacy and safety. 

USDOT and all communities should continue to invest in SMART City elements as an investment in information data and technology resources, as a means to improve infrastructure, and enhance human activity.  

Future plans and programs should lead to the development and operation of an integrated transportation infrastructure system that facilitates the efficient, economically beneficial movement of people, goods, and ideas. The program should contain performance metrics to demonstrate how these SMART City goals are being met.  


SMART Cities are defined as communities that use information data and technology resources to enhance infrastructure systems in order to improve human mobility and economic activity, increase safety, foster sustainability, and strengthen infrastructure resiliency.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) launched the SMART Cities Challenge to expand the opportunity for rural and urban communities to compete for resources that fund technologically-based efficient, creative, and innovative transportation projects. The SMART City challenge was designed to find innovative, technology enhancing ways to improve community movement, adaptability, growth, and fiscal management. Ultimately, the proposed projects are intended to improve people's quality of life, enhance economic activity, strengthen transportation system logistics, and foster sustainability.

All SMART City projects will be evaluated for the effective use of data and various technologies to reduce congestion, improve safety, increase cross-community access, enhance economic development, and bolster environmental stewardship. Project evaluation metrics should include coordinated automation and connectivity with vehicles and existing infrastructure, resilient information and communications technology which includes internet access, improved infrastructure asset use, and ultimately a more connected and involved citizenry.  


As our society becomes more technologically developed, it is widely recognized that this is a catalyst to building and maintaining economically, socially, and environmentally successful communities. Our transportation infrastructure system needs to include the latest technology to enhance our ability to connect and improve quality of life.  

ASCE Policy Statement 557
First Approved 2018

Other ASCE related policies: 
PS 131 Growth and Development 
PS 313 Infrastructure Research and Innovations 
PS 444 The Role of the Federal Government in Civil Engineering Research and Development 
PS 454 Intelligent Transportation Systems 
PS 548 Connected and Autonomous Vehicles