SMARTEST CITY in the country SNAGS $50M

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It pays to be smart and brag about it sometimes. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) might give you $50 million if they think you’re doing enough of it. The DOT recently announced that Columbus, Ohio, is the “smartest city” out there, and as a reward the city will receive $50 million in grants to “create a first-of-its-kind city that uses data, technology, and creativity to model the future.”

Columbus won the inaugural “Smart City Challenge,” a program that encouraged cities to inventory the challenges that they currently face and come up with practical, actionable ideas about how they would use innovation and technology to solve those challenges. The $50 million will go toward implementing the solutions that Columbus already laid out in its entry. Six other finalist cities will also receive support from industry sponsors involved in the competition, including Amazon, Vulcan, AT&T, DC Solar, and Mobile Eye. The six cities are: Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California.

Columbus officials said that they plan to use the money to “connect citizens and visitors, provide sustainable transportation options, and improve job opportunities.” DOT secretary Anthony Foxx said that the city’s “focus on improving the health and lives of the community” played a key role in its win.

Lesson Learned:

A good community master plan can yield major rewards. When you’re evaluating an area for investing potential, take a minute to check out the master plan and see how much, if anything, is actually happening on it. If it is, that can be a good sign that a community is set to grow.

Point to Ponder:

Do you agree with this type of contest?

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About the Author

Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.

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