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Will San Antonio Become A Smart City?

Some city leaders say San Antonio needs to become a smart city. But what exactly does that mean for the Alamo City?

A smart city is one that uses data and technology to help improve the quality of life for its citizens. Jose De La Cruz is the city’s Chief Innovation Officer.

"Here in San Antonio some of the projects we’ve proposed are enabling more access to wifi which is helpful in bridging the digital divide. We’re trying to make it easier for people to navigate our park systems, so we’re going to create a mobile app that will help them not only navigate the park system, but help them to understand what’s in the ten largest parks in the city," De La Cruz says.

And then there are the solar benches. De La Cruz says they have ports in which you can charge your mobile devices while you sit on the bench. Most solar benches provide wifi. De La Cruz says in some cities, the benches can count how many visitors are in the park which can lead to better park design, maintenance and programming.

De La Cruz says San Antonio becoming a smart city would help the community.

"Most cities kind of got down this path because technology has changed so much in the last few years, and I think anytime a city can promote itself as being technologically progressive, it can lead to more economic development within that city. It can lead to better educational opportunities within the city as well. So being a smart city really helps you to achieve some of those goals," De La Cruz says.

The proposed budget for the smart city project for next year is $13 million. City Council votes on whether to adopt it on Sept. 15.