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Columbus, Ohio, Picks Smart City Data Project Vendor

Columbus City Council has approved a $2.5 million contract with Pillar Technology Group to develop an operating system for the Smart Columbus project that will analyze and share data on innovative transportation projects.

The Columbus-based information technology company will develop a computer operating system that will support the long-term Smart Cities strategy, said Brandi Braun, Columbus' deputy innovation officer. It will be the citywide data management platform for information collected during the Smart Cities Challenge's transportation projects.

"It is the cornerstone of our Smart Cities portfolio of projects," Braun said.

"We want universities and nonprofits to share data with the community through this project," she said. Mike Stevens, the city's chief innovation officer, said it will be an "open-data portal" for the entire region.

Smart Columbus is a partnership of businesses, local governments and research groups that oversees the city's work on the federal Smart Cities initiative that will explore new transportation technologies. The city won the $50 million Smart Cities challenge in 2016. The program will use public and private money to back transportation initiatives.

Braun said she hopes Pillar will be on board by June.

In other business, the council approved accepting a $3.3 million grant from Ohio's Medicaid program to help fund CelebrateOne, the Columbus-based coalition working to reduce infant mortality.

The program supports the expansion of pregnancy services offered by the city-funded PrimaryOne Health Centers and the hiring of community health workers. Columbus Public Health and Nationwide Children's Hospital are also expanding home visiting services. In Franklin County, 150 infants die each year. African-American babies die at twice the rate of white babies.

The council also renewed a contract with the Neighborhood Design Center for $75,000 to work on a community master plan for the Linden neighborhood. In 2017, the council approved an initial $250,000 with the design center for master plans for Linden and the Hilltop area.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown did not attend Monday's council meeting, having given birth to her second child, Russell Brown Katzenmeyer, on Friday. She also has a daughter, Carolyn.

©2018 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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