What makes a Smart City? How can infrastructure be improved to relieve congestion and pollution while facilitating growth? These are just a few of the questions that seven U.S. cities—Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco—are attempting to answer in the face of a challenge proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. These seven cities were selected as the finalists in the Smart City Challenge from a pool of 78 cities in March, and presented their proposals in Washington, D.C. on June 9. The finalist cities were asked to describe their biggest transportation problem and to propose one big idea that addresses that issue. The winning city will be announced later this month.

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