Smart City San Diego is a broad public-private collaboration that includes the City of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, General Electric, the University of California, San Diego, and CleanTech San Diego. The objective of the collaboration is to improve the region's energy independence, to empower consumers to use electric vehicles, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to encourage economic growth. Some of the Smart City programs and projects have included:
- The City of San Diego is one of 10 U.S. cities selected to join Envision America, in which cities will leverage technology collaborators and businesses to address climate change challenges and improve city services.
- The City of San Diego and UC San Diego are participating in MetroLab Network, which brings together university researchers with City decision-makers to research, develop and deploy technologically‐ and analytically‐based solutions to improve infrastructure, services and other public sector priorities.
- The Solar-to-EV Project includes five solar-to-electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park that was launched in September 2012 and is managed by SDG&E. The charging stations use energy from the sun to directly charge plug-in EVs, store solar power for future use, and provide renewable energy to the surrounding community.
- With assistance from Cleantech San Diego, the City installed 3,000 LED street lights with adaptive controls downtown – one of the first deployments of this technology in the country.
It was announced in 2017 that San Diego will become a “2030 District” – an urban area where the private sector and local building industry leaders commit to sustainability and economic growth. The goal is to have a 50 percent reduction in energy, water and transportation emissions in participating buildings by 2030.
The City is partnering with GE to upgrade streetlights to reduce energy costs by 60 percent as well as transform them into a connected digital network that can optimize parking and traffic, enhance public safety and track air quality. The deployment of 3,200 smart sensors will be the largest city-based deployment of an “Internet of Things” platform in the world. The smart nodes will use real-time anonymous sensor data to do things such as direct drivers to open parking spaces, help first responders during emergencies, track carbon emissions and identify intersections that can be improved for pedestrians and cyclists. The information can be used to support San Diego’s “Vision Zero” strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries. Installation of the new lights is expected to be completed by fall 2018.