Seat Pleasant, Maryland

“A Smart City of Excellence”

Sokwoo Rhee

Chris Greer

Konstantina Di Menza

David A. Wollman

The World’s First Authentic Small Smart City


Given our small size (~4700 residents), and limited resources, we must find ways to do more with less. That is why we are becoming a Smart City!

Our Smart City plan is focused on creating a Citizen-Centric Smart City that aims to improve the connectivity between citizens, businesses, and government.

Our strategic priorities during this transformation include:

  1. Improving Health Outcomes for All
  2. Improving Public Safety
  3. Improving Education and Training
  4. Cultivate a State of Small Smart Cities



Links to this presentation:

Presentation Overview


1. Define Smart Cities

2. Discuss our Smart City transformation, the value it brings, and the impact it had

3. Discuss our partnerships in this journey and our roadmap moving forward

4. Discuss opportunities to work together

Our Definition of a Smart City

Smart City Ecosystem

Connect Stakeholders

Connectivity includes finding ways to connect people with the local government and with the local community. Technology is not a requirement for fostering connectivity.

Knocks Down Silos

By facilitating “connectivity” and knocking down organizational silos, Smart Cities can improve collaboration and coordination across agencies and departments.

Creating Network

The technology side of “connectivity” refers to a Smart City’s network. A secure and fast network is required to facilitate the adoption and implementation of IoT technologies. In addition, many future IoT applications will require 5G networks in order to function effectively and safely. The network also allows us to tackle the digital divide that is often prevalent in rural areas and disadvantaged communities.


Smart Cities need to foster connectedness. This includes technology-based connectivity such as the implementation of IoT and 5G networks, as well as people based connectivity that aims to foster a greater level of trust, collaboration, and engagement between the citizens and the local government.


Data is essential for a Smart City. As it becomes more readily available across the entire organization, it begins to enable data-driven decision making that ultimately leads to better outcomes.

Data Collection

What gets measured, gets improved. One of the first steps for cities undertaking digital transformation is to begin to collect data where ever it is possible.

data analytics

As data becomes more and more available, Cities can begin to leverage data analytics. Cities will be able to use descriptive analytics to understand what, when, and where.

derive insights

Once a city becomes comfortable with descriptive analytics, it can begin to analyze the data for meaningful value. Cities can use the data to derive insights that would otherwise have gone overlooked. These insights can then be used to influence decision making and policy direction.

Smart Policies

Smart Processes







The Value Smart Cities Bring


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 stopping Municipalities from embracing Smart City transformation?

We commissioned a study with Precise Data Consulting that showed the following:


  • Sent to over 2000 small cities (populations of 15,000 or less)
  • Over 70% of respondents identified the following key priorities/challenges
    • Public Safety
    • Economic Development
    • A growing aging population
    • Community Revitalization
  • Smart City concepts can have an impact in each of these areas
  • Respondents identified two reasons why they haven’t begun a Smart City transformation
    • Financial Constraints
    • Not knowing where to start / lack of knowledge

The Impact Smart Cities Bring

What we did in Seat Pleasant & 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

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.

$1 M

Cost to the City


Increase in Property Values

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.

2017 Commercial Robberies

2018 Commercial Robberies

  • 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%

In Home & Health Monitoring Program

The City’s In-Home and Health Monitoring program will focus on using remote patient monitoring technology, assistive technologies, and connected devices to empower residents aging in place and improving quality of life for caregivers and citizens with disabilities. This program utilizes in-home monitoring for residents with multiple chronic conditions and disabilities to allow them to live more safely, comfortably, and independently while assisting caregivers to ensure safety and security.

The remote patient monitoring technology will securely track physiologic data on vulnerable residents. The data will remotely transmit to a secure, HIPAA-compliant dashboard. Healthcare providers that have the authorization to monitor the data, will receive daily updates on the clinical status of persons receiving remote monitoring services. With the addition of new dashboards to the City’s Smart City Platform, the city can continue its vision by providing a broad set of monitoring and response capabilities. By combining these technologies with data from other sources such as air quality sensors, the City can provide secure reliable data to enhance citizen welfare for all residents, including the disabled and their caregivers



Step 1: What do we want to protect citizens/workers from?

Step 2: What are the Analytical models needed to provide the protection

Step 3: What are the devices and IoTs required for these specific protections


Current Protections Include:

  • location
  • excessive temperature exposure
  • heat/cold stress
  • slips, trips, and falls
  • dangerous gas
  • overexertion
  • panic
  • person down
  • fit to drive
  • activity recognition
  • hypothermia
  • stress

Smart Street Lighting Program & 5G

Intersection Safety Analytics

Seat Pleasant, located in between two major highways leading into DC (MD 214 – Central Avenue & Martin Luther King Jr Highway), sees over 100,000 vehicles drive through the city on a daily basis. At the same time, we have a ton of foot traffic crossing those two highways. These are people who are walking to the Metro, Central Highschool or the Seat Pleasant Activity Center. As a result, intersection safety is critical for us.

Intelligent Traffic Safety:

  • Driver Behavior
  • Traffic Volume, Speed, Direction
  • Pedestrian and Cyclist Volume and Behaviors

Intelligent Lighting Controls

We’re working with Verizon/AECOM/PEPCO to outfit street lights with LED bulbs as well as equip them with smart devices that capture and transmit data in near real time. This will allow us to get full control over all lights, which allows us to set parameters to automatically adjust lights based on motion sensing or time of day/day of week schedules.

Verizon Smart Communities Program

Intelligent Video Analytics

Since we share a border with DC, we often see criminals committing a crime in one jurisdiction, and then crossing over into the other to avoid apprehension. 

Our biggest trouble spot is at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr Highway. We also see illegal activity, such as loitering, and drug sales around this area.

Intelligent Public Safety:

  • Remotely monitor
  • Proactively identify threats

Eastern Ave & MLK Jr Hwy

Central Ave

Verizon Smart Communities Program

5G Implementation + Citywide broadband

We’re working with a small company out of Dallas Texas to install 5G infrastructure. This infrastructure will initially be used to provide Broadband services to all constituents in the City and Beyond.

Cross Departmental Benefits

The Data we’re collecting, including traffic & vehicle data, weather data, crime data, and air quality data can be correlated together to reduce traffic congestion, improve public safety, public health, and spur economic development:


  • Helps us sell the benefits of investing in a particular area
  • Allows us to monetize data
  • Understand the impact of traffic on prevalence of Asthma in our city
  • Better estimate the lifespan of our roads
  • Improve event planning

Seat Pleasant

The Test Bed of Innovation

We developed a Citizen-Centric Smart City Roadmap for the City!

On April 12th, 2019 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, we unveiled our first Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategic Plan, which lays out our vision and plan for implementation of Smart City technologies over the next 5 years!

  • Smart Home & Health Programs

    • Aging in Place
    • Chronic Diseases and Asthma
    • Improve energy efficiency and decrease consumption
  • City-wide Wi-Fi & 5G

  • Regional Smart City Approach

  • Interactive City Kiosks with Artificial Intelligence

  • Smart Street Lighting

  • Smart Energy

  • Smart Mobility & Transportation

Our success is predicated on strategic and meaningful Partnerships!

We developed an extensive Partner Network, that is helping us realize our mission! This network includes, but is not limited to:

On June 19, 2018, the City of Seat Pleasant signed a Memorandum of Understand with Prince George’s Community College and the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce to ensure the success of the City’s Smart City Initiative. That agreement set forth a goal to develop a workforce that would be equipped to thrive in the world of Smart Cities.

I’m proud to say that in a short period of time, we’ve made tremendous progress towards this goal. Our team has met repeatedly with representatives from the Community College to discuss and review a preliminary curriculum for Smart City Workforce Development. The curriculum will focus on various Smart City applications, the Internet of Things, Data Science, Business Process Improvement, as well as Entrepreneurship.

Thank You

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

Want to learn more about Smart City transformation? Click on the “CGS” Image below for more information!

%d bloggers like this: