- A who's who of construction and technology giants are developing and building Gramercy District, a 2.5 million-square-foot, $500 million "smart city" in Ashburn, VA, the Washington Business Journal reported.
- AECOM unit Tishman Construction will join with Virginia-based TRINITY Construction to build the development, while a team from George Washington University, the Center for Innovative Technology and Microsoft will work on the technology aspects of the project.
- Developers want to create a "repeatable, highly efficient, sustainable and economically viable Smart City In-a-Box" concept that can be implemented in other locations, according to the Loudoun Times Mirror. They aim to complete the project's first phase by 2018.
Gramercy District will be the first smart city in Virginia and one of a handful in the U.S. 22 Capital Partners is developing the project. Gramercy executives said the goal of the project is to create "a seamless integration of technology and real estate" where people who live and work there can use their smart phones and other devices to interact with the development around them.
Google also entered the "smart city" arena this year when its Sidewalk Labs division proposed building a smart city district within an existing city. The company said it wanted to create a "proving ground" for cities of the future, complete with state-of-the-art infrastructure and self-driving cars. Sidewalk would reportedly be limited to cities with large, developable areas, and, according to The Wall Street Journal, the company might also be looking for a location where it would not have to comply with local building codes, which would further limit its options.
In July, research firm Gartner reported that smart cities would use 1.6 billion "connected things" in 2016, an increase of 39% from 2015. Gartner also reported that smart homes would make up 21% of total Internet of Things (IoT) use in that same timeframe. In fact, the company added that consumers would begin to use smart home features at such a rapid pace that it would result in a higher adoption rate than that of commercial users by 2018.