Henderson embraces technology in quest to become smart city

Henderson embraces technology in quest to become smart city


Henderson will integrate new technologies in a three-year plan to become a smart city, saying the technology upgrades will improve the quality of life for residents.

Nevada’s second-largest city unveiled its Smart City Strategy earlier this month with a focus on enhanced citizen services, public safety, education and transportation, said Laura Fucci, the chief information officer of Henderson’s Department of Information Technology.

“From smart students to smart cities, Henderson has embarked on an ambitious plan to harness technology and data to improve everything from transportation infrastructure to public safety and city services,” Henderson Mayor Debra March said in a statement. “We have already made investments in becoming a smart city that are linked to areas such as traffic management, city facilities and emergency response, and there’s still more to come.”

Henderson collaborated with research and advisory company Gartner to probe the technologies that would best fit in with the city’s long-term development goals. Henderson is expected to grow from 300,000 residents to nearly 400,000 by 2036, and the city’s investment in technology will help support the growth and provide a better quality of life for current residents, according to the strategy report.

It has already implemented technology like dimmable lights on trails for biker safety and solar-powered beacons that alert drivers of students crossing the roads. Here are more planned advances:

Public safety

Henderson will use drones to help first responders locate lost or injured residents on biking and hiking trails, or assess potential repair conditions of roads, Fucci said.

City government

The city will implement translation technology for residents attending city government meetings. Previously, a translator would need to be requested in advance of a meeting. Once implemented, residents will be able to listen in on an app or be provided headsets. The service is available in multiple languages.

Education

The city plans to establish a loaner internet hotspot program, provide free Wi-Fi at recreation facilities and develop and collaborate with internet providers to offer discounted Wi-Fi services to families in need. Providing internet access to students in lower-income homes will help bridge the digital divide as more schools assign homework through the web, Fucci said.

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