As the sole winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) first-ever Smart City Challenge, Columbus was awarded $50 million in funding and the designation as America’s Smart City. In addition, we’re taking on the coveted job of “becoming smart” by embracing the reinvention of transportation to accelerate human progress. And with it, the responsibility to be a teacher for cities as they evolve around the world.


We have a mandate and an opportunity to pave the way:

  • Grants totaling $50 million
  • An Acceleration Fund of aligned investment that keeps growing to support our mission
  • A global platform to show the world what the future can look like
  • The opportunity to become a smart city teacher in other cities and regions

Smart Columbus is the smart city initiative for the City of Columbus and the Columbus Region.  We have a vision that starts with the reinvention of mobility, which will lead us to a future beyond what anyone has yet imagined.

OUR MISSION | To accelerate human progress through open mobility.

OUR VISION | To be the model for connected cities of the future.

OUR PURPOSE | We are leading Columbus to the future and ensuring your place in it.


  • Drive economic growth
  • Improve people’s quality of life
  • Foster sustainability
  • Improve safety

Columbus received a total of $50 million in the form of two grants, $40 million from USDOT and $10 million from Vulcan, Inc., a Paul G. Allen Philanthropies. These dollars provide the seed funding for Smart Columbus, a region-wide Smart City initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership. The City of Columbus, under the leadership of Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, is the lead recipient of the $50 million and will administer the deployment of these funds for the duration of the grant period, which concludes at the end of 2020.

The Columbus Partnership, representing the Columbus Region’s private sector, is the lead implementation partner for the grant program and is responsible for the initiative’s Acceleration Fund, which is credited as a significant factor in Columbus’ winning of the challenge.  The Acceleration Fund is made up of coordinated and aligned investments by the private and public sectors that will complement, scale and sustain Smart Columbus projects and programs into the future.  What started as $90 million when we won the challenge, has grown to more than $500 million, with a goal of $1 billion by 2020.

To learn more about Smart Columbus and how you can be a part of our vision for the future, visit and connect with @smartcbus on social media.

Contact: 614.223.2170

facebook_icon_reducedsize_25px   twitter_icon_reducedsize_25px   instagram_icon_reducedsize_25px