Cultivating an Authentic Small Smart City using

the Center for Government Synergism (CGS) Smart City Platform

Seat Pleasant, Maryland

“A Smart City of Excellence”

I am Mayor Eugene W. Grant, and have been Mayor of Seat Pleasant for 15 years!

Seat Pleasant is located in Maryland and shares a border with Washington DC.

Our City is a bedroom community with a  population of a little more than 4700.

Our City is a transportation hub with easy access to public transit such as Metro, and is also in close proximity to 3 airports!

Our Primary Revenue sources are property taxes and our city’s share of state income tax. We can’t generate revenue by raise taxes, so we had to find innovative ways to do more with less.

That is why we are becoming a Smart City!

Link to this presentation is

what if i told you…

Smart Cities can “give back” each city resident 15 business days (120 hrs) worth of time every year!


Source:  – “Smart Cities – What’s in it for Citizens?”

15 Business Days Worth = 120 Hours

Smart Mobility (Hrs)

Smart Public Safety (Hrs)

Smart Health (Hrs)

Smart Government (Hrs)

This is time they can use to spend with family & friends, get active, take longer vacations, or increase their earning potential

Source:  – “Smart Cities – What’s in it for Citizens?”

Research also suggests the following outcomes can be realized!

Source:  – McKinsey Global Institue – “Smart Cities: Digital Solutions For a More Livable Future”


Reduction in Fatalities (homicides, road deaths, fire deaths) due to improved Public Safety


Improve Efficiency of Gov Processes


Reduce Cost of Living by 1 to 3% annually


Reduction in Nighttime Crime as a result of Smart Lighting

Saved time (min) per citizen contact with government


Increased feeling of connectedness to the local community


Accelerated Emergency Response time


Increase employment by 1 to 3%


Increased feeling of connectedness to the local government

What is a Smart City?

A Smart City is an urban ecosystem that leverages smart technology, smart policies, and smart processes to improve the quality of life for all its residents, visitors and businesses.

The most important piece of Smart Technology is a “Shared Services Hub” where data and information is shared across departments and agencies.

Smart City concepts can be applied in numerous areas, with use cases ranging from Public Safety to Citizen Engagement to Environmental.

Public Safety

Public Works

Economic Development


Internet of Things (IoT)

Citizen Engagement

Smart Home


What we did in Seat Pleasant and How we did it


“MySeatPleasant” App

We developed and launched a mobile app that “pushes” government to where the people are. The mobile app provides access to city information and services 24/7. It also allows citizens to submit requests from service directly through the app (i.e. potholes, abandoned vehicles, vacant property issues, etc.)


Improved Response Time


Improved Efficiency

Neighborhood & Commercial Compliance Dept

We are re-engineering many of our code enforcement processes including issuing code violation citations, business and rental license registrations, and vacant home registration. Based on our initial analysis, we’re expecting a 30 to 40 % reduction in the time it takes to complete any of these processes.


Cost to the City


Increase in Property Values

Economic Development & Housing

We used the CGS Smart City Platform to estimate the true impact of blight and the vacant housing problem. We did so by bringing in data from the Maryland Dept. of Assessments and Taxation, Real Estate Data, Vacant Housing Data, Police Incident, and Public Works data and leveraging research done by the National Vacant Properties Campaign. We estimated that the city was losing upwards of $1M per year.

We’ve also seen property values in the city increase from $175K in 2016 to $235K.

Smart Policing + Community Policing

The Police Department used the CGS Platform and its Public Safety capabilities to understand what is happening around our city and to identify criminal hotspots using the platform’s Predictive Policing capabilities. The criminal hotspots were used to inform patrol schedules and patrolling routes. Leveraging the CGS platform in conjunction with the city’s new policies to enhance the relationship between the department and its residents has resulted in significant reductions to crime.

  • Reduction in Burglaries 37.5% 37.5%
  • Reduction in Theft from Auto 71.42% 71.42%
  • Reduction in Citizen & Commercial Robbery 70% 70%
  • Reduction in Violent Crime 14% 14%

The Reason for our success

The key to a successful transformation is taking a process-oriented approach to developing a strategic, citizen-centric smart city roadmap.

–This approach forces us to identify our needs and desired outcomes, and examine our strengths and weaknesses so that we can identify opportunities for growth and threats to progress. This understanding of the end goal is the very reason we’ve had tremendous success at Seat Pleasant thus far.

The Process

We developed this process by taking input from Subject Matter Experts within our extensive Partner Network, as well as input from the end user (i.e. The Mayor, Police Chief, City Staff, Public Engagement Director, Field Crews, Neighborhood & Commercial Compliance Inspectors, and Citizens, etc.).

The Elephant in the Room: Privacy

Ultimately, successful data-driven programs rely on public trust that the government is a responsible steward of individual data.

To gain that trust, Cities must emphasize public engagement and public priorities as essential aspects of data management programs.

  • Share the rationale for making data available
  • Share the expected benefits of releasing that data weighed against the privacy risks, and measures that have been implemented to protect privacy
  • Take a measured and thoughtful approach to maintain and protect data privacy
    • This approach should consider privacy at each stage of the data lifecycle (collection, cleansing, release, and deletion)
    • The approach should also develop operational structures & processes that codify privacy management throughout the city

The Full Data Life-Cycle

Seat Pleasant

The Test Bed of Innovation

  • City-wide WiFi

  • 5G

  • Interactive City Kiosks with Artifical Intelligence

  • Smart Home & Health Programs

  • Smart Mobility

  • Smart Energy

Thank You

For more insightful information, check out the “Mayor’s Moment” Video Blog Series on Small Smart Cities

Want to transform your City into a Smart City? Click on the “CGS” Image below for more information!