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Clarke and DelBene Introduce Legislation to Expand Smart City Technology

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Smart Cities Caucus Chair Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) introduced the Smart Cities and Communities Act to promote the use of smart city technologies and enhance federal coordination of these programs.

Smart technologies enable cities to improve community livability, services, communication, safety, mobility, and resilience to natural disasters; to reduce costs, traffic congestion, air pollution, energy use, and carbon emissions; and to promote economic growth and opportunities for communities of all sizes. 

City governments around the world are expected to spend $41 trillion over the next 20 years on smart tech to upgrade their infrastructure to benefit from these technologies. While many cities are proactively pursuing this model, the U.S. is lagging the world in smart city development even though every dollar invested in government tech saves nearly $4.

The Smart Cities and Communities Act was developed in collaboration with cities and technology innovators. It authorizes $1.1 billion over 5 years. The legislation would:

  • Enhance federal coordination of smart city programs, including improved reporting and demonstration of the value and utility of smart city systems.
  • Provide assistance and resources to local governments interested in implementing smart city technologies, making them more accessible in suburban and rural areas.
  • Develop a skilled domestic workforce to support smart cities.
  • Improve the quality and performance of smart city technologies while assessing and enhancing cybersecurity and privacy protections. 
  • Foster international collaboration and trade in smart city technologies.

“Quality of life has many dimensions, from the air we breathe to how safe we feel in our communities. Smart city technologies allow us to improve critical quality-of-life indicators that translate into lives saved, fewer crime incidents, shorter commutes, a reduced health burden, and carbon emissions averted,” said Clarke. “Smart cities are essential to achieving a more equitable future nationally and a more competitive future abroad. This legislation will bring generational infrastructure improvement to American cities and deliver equitable opportunities while supporting our nation’s transition into a global-pioneer of climate policy.”

“Investing in emerging smart city technologies is one of the biggest opportunities for our nation to remain the world’s unmatched leader in innovation,” said DelBene. “Utilizing these technologies will allow cities to invest in clean infrastructure projects that reduce pollution, create good-paying jobs, and expand our middle class. The bottom line is this a commonsense proposal that can improve the quality of life in communities across the country.”

“BSA applauds Representatives DelBene and Clarke for reintroducing the Smart Cities and Communities Act. We’re proud to once again support this forward-looking legislation,” said Meghan Pensyl, Manager, Policy at BSA | The Software Alliance. “Investing in smart cities means investing in systems that are stronger, less expensive, and more environmentally sound. This bill will ensure governments have the tools they need to equitably distribute the benefits of smart cities technologies.”

“There has been perhaps no greater opportunity to pursue the development of smart cities and communities as the nation comes through the pandemic and Congress undertakes legislation to enable a massive rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure,” said Steve Crout, Director of Policy and Resilience Programs at Smart Cities Council. “Representatives DelBene and Clarke are leading the way through the introduction of the Smart Cities and Communities Act.”

This legislation is endorsed by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, BSA | The Software Alliance, Clean Energy Business Network, Edison Electric Institute, Fiber Optic Sensing Association, Security Industry Association, Smart Cities Council, Telecommunications Industry Association, and Wireless Infrastructure Association.

A summary of the bill can be found here and the bill text can be found here.


Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is a Senior Member of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Homeland Security.


Media contact: Remmington Belford c: 202.480.5737

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