3 April Smart Region Presentation - Q1 2019 Clay EDC Luncheon Presentation April 3, 2019 By Laura Pavlus News transportation, smart cities, North Florida , Transportation Planning Organization 0 Clay Today - March 6, 2019 - by Nick Blank - full article here ORANGE PARK - The era of the “smart city” and “smart region” is here, using real-time data to solve community problems like transportation. Florida Transportation Planning Organization Executive Director Jeff Sheffield surprisingly promised more than 170 business leaders and elected officials at the Thrasher-Horne Center that he wouldn’t talk about the First Coast Expressway or other Clay County road projects during the first quarter Clay Economic Development Corp. luncheon. He instead touted road weather sensors, flood sensors in storm drains, sensors detecting pedestrian movement that relay information to first responders and commuters. First responders can receive notifications about trains in the area and the expected time of a train at an intersection. “None of this stuff is futuristic, these are all technologies already being used, just not being integrated into communities to solve challenges,” Sheffield said. There are apps that track how long lights stay red, how fast commuter have to drive to hit every green light and apps that tell them to get off their phones when the light turns green. The North Florida TPO is a federally-funded transportation planning organization that oversees Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties. Prior to Sheffield’s speech, EDC Board Chairman Egan thanked investors and Wantman Group Vice President Walter Kloss said Clay County’s future in economic development was bright and had a lot to learn from Sheffield’s remarks. “It’s time to embrace innovation,” Kloss said. One of the problems with public and private agencies is they operate in silos, Sheffield said. A smart region aims to connect them. Sheffield pointed to the $11 million, 20,000 square-foot Regional Transportation Management Center housing multiple agencies in downtown Jacksonville that opened in 2015. “It’s literally home to FHP, DOT, fire and rescue, fish and wildlife and JSO. It’s a NASA-looking facility with lots of monitors and cameras where we manage everything in real time,” Sheffield said. “That’s how we got to the era of smart region.” Click here to view event photos! In addition to solving traffic problems, Sheffield defined a smart city by two other characteristics: ladders of opportunity and economic development. He pointed to the Bay Jax Innovation Corridor, a technology-oriented area with almost $40 million in state and federal funding. The corridor is focused on attracting young, tech-minded entrepreneurs who are fluid and less formal. “It’s not pie in the sky. There’s really money attached to this. We have a real ability to deploy this,” Sheffield said. “It’s far more about the data behind it and the internet. Can you aggregate the data and create solutions to community issues in a way unique from what we’re currently doing?” Mentioning the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s automated car testing on Gator Bowl Boulevard, Sheffield said a smart city wasn’t just about, “cool new toys.” The city of St. Augustine implemented a parking system where users pay by app and see spots become available in real time. Though there are problems with pricing, he hopes the plan reduces traffic in the area. “This is not now the story of, ‘As Jacksonville grows, the region grows,’” Sheffield said. “That’s not what this is. Any possible use is available in any locality.” For Clay County, Sheffield broached the possibility of a pavement condition pilot project. A car with sensors would scan roads for cracks and ruts over 200 miles to see which roads needed resurfacing, costing $8,000 for a test run. “Some had said they would rather watch a glacier melt, others thought it may be useful. It’s an immensely cost-effective, data driven process instead of subjective,” Sheffield said. “More importantly, they’ve already learned in some cities with historical data, they’re now able to predict the pothole before it happens. That’s the kind of stuff we’re talking about.” Related Business Leaders Get Glimpse of Florida's Aerospace Industry at Clay EDC Q2 Luncheon Presentation Frank DiBello, CEO of Space Florida, was the keynote speaker for the June 8 quarterly luncheon sponsored by the Clay County Economic Development Corp., which works to bring high-skill, high-wage jobs to Clay County. Clay has stake in region’s new economic plan Officials at the JAXUSA Partnership Regional Economic Development Forum brought the public and private sector together to discuss how Duval County and its six surrounding counties can handle an incoming burst of economic growth. Clay County is a member of JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. Avalanche Consulting, an Austin, Texas-based economic growth consulting firm, prepared the report outlining a five-year plan on how to handle the growth. Clay County Home to Top Ranking ZIP Codes Clay County is proud to have 5 of the top 18 ranking ZIP codes for year-over-year growth in average single-family homes in Northeast Florida. Construction of the First Coast Express is fueling this increase. Clay County population growth projections are by-far the largest in the region for the next 10 to 15 years. Concurrently, 77% of Clay County residents commute into neighboring counties to work. Clay County is home to the second highest wage earners in the region. To learn more about business opportunities in Clay County, Florida call 904.375.9394. Clay Commission Discussing Rebranding County Image The Clay County Commission this month is expected to consider recommendations to showcase the county’s natural, historic and recreational resources as well as its communities to best attract tourism, new businesses and residents. Clay EDC Board of Directors Support One-Cent Sales Tax At the June 14, 2016 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Clay EDC President, Bill Garrison, read a resolution by the Clay EDC Board of Directors announcing their support of the one-cent sales tax extension. Clay Officials Tackle Tallahassee Government officials from each major community joined members of the Clay County Chamber and County Commission to advocate for local needs to state lawmakers and inform those from outside Clay County what the area has to offer. 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