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City of Spokane and Urbanova Finalists for IDC’s 2020 Smart Cities North America Award

IDC Government Insights named finalists this week in their Smart Cities North America Awards, including the City of Spokane and Spokane’s Urbanova.

The awards are designed to recognize the progress North American communities have made in executing Smart Cities projects, as well as provide a forum for sharing best practices to help accelerate Smart City development in the region. Finalists include 11 categories and 36 different projects. Urbanova is a finalist recognizing it’s collaborative approach and is specifically a finalist this year in the Smart Buildings category for the Avista-led Shared Energy Economy Model Pilot project in the University District. The City of Spokane is a finalist in the Smart Water category for its Cleaner River Faster: Integrated Clean Water Plan to improve the health of the Spokane River.

The public has a chance to vote on their favorite innovative projects across the country to determine this year’s winners. Spokane projects must get more votes than their larger competitors to win the top honor.

More background on both projects can be found in this recent City of Spokane blog post and the summaries below.

In 2018, Urbanova and the City of Spokane received the award for sustainable infrastructure in the inaugural IDC Smart Cities North America Awards.

Urbanova – Spokane, WA
Through the use of collaborative partnerships between research institutions, the vendor community and the city, as well as listening to residents and to cull their views on innovative technologies, Spokane is demonstrating how to build a better future for its residents. The Avista-led Shared Energy Economy Model Pilot is funded in part by a grant from the Washington Clean Energy Fund. Avista and its partners are piloting a Shared Energy Economy model in the University District. The pilot tests the integration of energy assets – from rooftop solar and battery storage to building energy management systems – that can be shared and used for multiple purposes. The goal is demonstrating how both the customer and the utility can benefit from this shared energy economy model. The pilot is improving system efficiency and grid resiliency while providing building owners and non-utility generation asset owners economic signals for decision making

Cleaner River Faster: Integrated Clean Water Plan – Spokane, WA
Spokane has spent $220 million recently on clean water improvements. The City was planning to spend another $300 million just to address overflow during large storms. Other sources of pollution to the River, including stormwater, would have been missed with that investment. In the last year, Spokane has adopted an integrated approach to improve water quality designed to get enhanced results more quickly at a more affordable price. This clean water is environmentally and financially responsible, delivers magnitudes greater pollution reduction benefits for Spokane River at a cost $150 million less than previous plans. The city has installed 16 million gallons in underground storage to manage overflows from combined wastewater and stormwater sewers. SCADA systems are currently being planned for installation to provide advanced analytic capabilities to these new additions. They are installing membrane technology traditionally used in drinking water treatment to dramatically improve the quality of their effluent and will see a huge impact on phosphorus and other nutrients, hydrocarbons, metals, and persistent chemicals like PCBs.