The Georgia Smart Communities Challenge (“Georgia Smart”) is a funding and technical assistance program for local governments within the State of Georgia. Georgia Smart is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for communities of any size in Georgia to receive grant funding and support that enables them to envision, explore, and plan for their “smart” future. Communities will be given financial assistance, a partnership with a Georgia Tech research team, networking opportunities, and access to additional, unique resources to execute their projects. These resources include connections to industry experts and access to technology solutions provided by our provider-partners.
Georgia Smart is organized by the Georgia Institute of Technology in partnership with Georgia Power, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), Association County Commissioners of Georgia, Georgia Centers for Innovation, Georgia Chamber, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia Municipal Association, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Technology Association of Georgia, Georgia Planning Association, and the Global City Teams Challenge.
Why do we need 'smart cities'?
The City of Woodstock will develop a masterplan and a Smart Corridor Study for optimizing infrastructure needs and modeling land use changes using a grant funded from Georgia Smart.
The City of Woodstock is located about 30 miles north of Atlanta and has experienced significant growth in the past few decades. Its population has doubled from 10,050 to 22,027 according to the 2010 U.S. Census. This population growth along with a variety of community focused recreational events periodically held in the city has caused traffic congestion and parking challenges. The amount of traffic and lack of parking are constant complaints from Woodstock citizens, business owners, and visitors.
Woodstock’s Downtown District has several physical barriers that contribute to the traffic congestion. The presence of I-575 on the west side of Downtown, the railroad which runs north-south, and an odd intersection configuration in the center of town involving several streets adds to the traffic complexity. Current conditions along the main corridors in town are varied and unpredictable at times. Commuters are also a significant part of the traffic congestion. 78% of residents leave the county for employment per the Cherokee Office of Economic Development Study. The corridors experience both major congestion during rush hour and dangerous speeding during non-peak times.
Cherokee County is projected to experience continued rapid growth over the next few decades and Woodstock is expected to be the destination for both residents of Woodstock and those who live in the surrounding community. This will bring many challenges in balancing traffic and pedestrians in the core of the city.
The City of Woodstock hopes to increase efficiency in the corridors by utilizing autonomous vehicles with drop-off lanes, to reduce the need for parking, and managed right of way traffic controls with smart data-capturing sensors to ease traffic flow without destroying the walkability and family-oriented atmosphere of its downtown.