In 2016, Oregon’s Eugene-Springfield community joined US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities to accelerate their development of smart city applications, projects, and foster innovation.
Becoming part of this network, leaders from these communities share best practices, navigate technical challenges, and create transformative public benefits to increase residents’ quality of life. Five years later, the Eugene-Springfield community continues to make strides in bridging the digital divide and preparing to host the World Athletic Championships in the year 2022.
A sample of the Smart City projects and initiatives in the region include:
- EUGNet and InfiNet – two municipal back open-access fiber initiatives that have helped bring about gigabit internet services at nationally competitive prices., through public-private partnership.
- Project ‘We 💛 You’ – Local electric vehicle manufacturer Arcimoto is spearheading a community supported project offering Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV’s) rental near Affordable housing developments and supporting the mobility needs of the World Athletic Championship in 2022. The project aims to build a sustainable transportation model that can be replicated in other cities across America.
- Wayfinding – The City of Eugene is installing physical pedestrian and bicycle wayfinding infrastructure in the downtown and riverfront district this summer. A digital wayfinding app is funded and in development to tie parking and mobility options with community events and district business.
- The City of Eugene Parking Services program is recognized as a leader in the municipal parking industry. Their program is all digital for parking permits, citations, parking payment app, and using license plate recognition cameras for enforcement.
- The Oregon22 Community App – This project aims to create a decentralized way of communicating community information at scale, to people who are visiting Eugene for the World Athletic Championships.
- The Willamette Internet Exchange (WIX) – a regional peering point for the Internet, designed to increase the quality of Internet services and digital resilience in the southern Willamette Valley. Having this infrastructure in place has provided tangible benefits for students in the region, as physical schools closed and learning shifted online. The Internet Exchange connects school district’s networks in the area directly to Internet Service Providers in the region, improving network performance and the useability of online learning applications. With US Ignite’s partnership, the community is in the process of expanding the WIX to have additional points of presence in the region.
- SpeedupAmerica – an open source tool that facilitates independent crowd-source internet speed tests and combines that information with geo location technology and reporting capabilities. It is the combination of those three core capabilities that makes it fundamentally different from commercial speed tests tools out there. All test results are available as a one-click ‘Export Data’, to anyone. The tool is free for communities to use, as part of their existing digital inclusion efforts to affect positive change.