A Peer-Submitted Best Practice

Smart City Initiative

One of the city of Tamarac, Florida’s major policy initiatives is to be a “Smart City”. As the city constructs new facilities, the technology employed is a key and central focus. For example, in the recent construction of new fire stations, there are many devices that are now connected to the network (for remote control and monitoring), such as fire alerting systems, HVAC systems, SCBA systems, exhaust control systems, generators, fuel tanks, etc…. The building is outfitted with network-based video surveillance and access control (via card reader) for almost every door, and uses video intercom systems at gates and entrances which utilize the city’s VoIP telephone system. The city’s “Smart Parks” are connected via high-speed fiber connections, have full and reliable WiFi coverage, full video surveillance and access control (to all doors), remote control (over the network) of lighting and electrical outlets, smart irrigation systems, etc…. The city is dramatically embracing the Internet of Things concept, enabling efficiencies in many areas. Most recently, the city has been discussing “smart” technologies for use in water meter reading, water service, centralized HVAC and lighting control, street lights and sports lighting, and, most interestingly, “presence” detection so to help “count” usage of certain facilities and rooms, and to automatically turn on lights when in use.

Also, as part of a recent countywide tax increase for transportation funding, the city is developing a smart transportation network for electronic information centers, including smart routing of city buses, with alert notifications via mobile app, SMS, etc. (https://ridetamarac.ridesystems.net/default.aspx)

The city is dramatically embracing IoT concepts, and developing a Smart City and Technology Strategic Plan, which will identify specific smart strategies: street lighting control, sports and internal office lights; centralized climate control; space utilization “presence” detection to help “count” usage, and to automatically turn on lights, automated meter reading systems, etc.

About the Author

I have more than 22 years of local government and professional experience building focused IT departments, providing exceptional customer services, managing successful large-scale initiatives, and leveraging innovative technologies to building Smart and Connected organizations.

As the Interim Director of Information Technology at the city of Tamarac, I am an innovative leader with demonstrated organizational, analytical, and communications skills. I have led various large-scale project implementations, demonstrating success in managing these projects from start to finish, resulting in thousands of dollars of savings to the city on an annual basis.

Photo of James Twigger

By James Twigger

Interim Director of Information Technology for the City of Tamarac, Florida

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