The St. Pete Innovation District’s mission is to develop St. Petersburg into an environment that fosters job growth, economic development, and learning and inspiration by bringing innovative people and organizations together.
Nothing better exemplifies this - than our role as an innovation test bed. We use our geographic base to partner with national organizations, as well as local private companies, nonprofits, government, and educational institutions to test technology and help shape solutions that can benefit our community and someday solve challenges around the world.
The Smart City effort began in 2019 with the SPID’s admission into the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities program. Before we looked at a single technology tool or considered the first pilot project, the Smart City working group started with a discussion about our community’s challenges. Leveraging past studies and the lived experience of citizens, our discussions spanned infrastructure, education, bicycle safety, transportation, sustainability and resiliency, small business support and wayfinding. We prioritized these challenges. Then we looked for ways that existing community expertise and smart city technologies could work to address them. Those discussions led us to select the four proof of concept projects that are currently underway: Smart Lighting, Guardians of the Gulf (STEAM Education), Smart Intersection, and Digital Inclusion.