As cities embrace the work-play-live lifestyle trend, the Denver Metro Area has stepped up efforts to incorporate smart transportation technologies across the city. It enlisted Osaka-based electronics company Panasonic to install its smart city technology, which should be operational by 2024, at the Denver International Airport.

Recognizing the benefits of the initiative, some Colorado cities have followed suit. Located between the Denver and Boulder metropolitan areas, the city of Westminster, with a population of just over 100,000, is at the forefront of applying smart city technology and big data.

“We’re developing our first downtown, which we started a few years ago. At the heart of this project is The Downtown Westminster Smart City Mobility Initiative. It is a transformational project in the heart of the U.S. 36 Tech Corridor in the Denver metropolitan region,” Westminster Director of Economic Development John Hall said.

“We have regular discussions with Panasonic, for instance, about developing smart city technologies. That’s just one touch point between what Japan has to offer and what we have to offer to realize common goals,” Hall said.

City officials hope that the initiative will spur economic development, encourage public-private collaboration, eliminate at-grade trail crossings, reduce crash accidents, increase transportation options and improve the quality of life.

“We look at international investment as a collaborative effort. And personal relationships matter more when it comes to attracting foreign investment, especially from Japan,” Mayor Herb Atchison said.

“The biggest opportunity, especially for international investors, is to identify commonalities and see how we can help foster that relationship. While we may not be able to bring a business in our city limits, we can still help them achieve a ‘soft landing’ in neighboring communities or across the metro area. We know that this regional approach works and we know we all benefit from regionalism,” Atchison added.