Columbus, Ohio, navigates challenges of balancing its vision with practical ways to carry it out

Three years after winning the Smart City Challenge, which helped Columbus further raise $720 million in private-sector pledges, Columbus has indeed delivered on many goals. It deployed automated vehicles and connected cars, installed electric charging infrastructure and encouraged adoption of green-friendly vehicles. In August, a beta version launched of Pivot, an app that allows customers to plan and pay for multimodal travel.

Davis and others have figured out where the promises of tomorrow meet the realities of today. At a time when the drumbeat to push smart technology has reached a starry-eyed crescendo, Columbus offers a clear-headed playbook on what a Smart City is actually capable of in 2019.