Smart Security? Evaluating Security Resiliency in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge

Smart city initiatives, which involve the connection and automation of city systems and services through the use of information and communication technology, offer significant opportunities to improve efficiency and address many environmental, economic, and social issues faced by U.S. cities. However, as systems become increasingly connected and automated, these systems and the people whom they serve become more vulnerable to an array of security threats, including cybersecurity attacks and attacks on the physical infrastructure and human lives. This paper focuses on how U.S. cities plan to mitigate and respond to the security risks that may arise from the integration of technology into transportation systems and connecting transportation system databases. After examining the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent competition Beyond Traffic: Smart City Challenge, this paper evaluates 32 of the 77 first-round applications to the Smart City Challenge submitted by midsize American cities. The paper provides a set of criteria to evaluate the resiliency of the applicants’ transportation systems, that is, the ability of the cities to withstand and respond to security threats and changing conditions. These criteria include the responses of cities to a range of security risks, the response to unknown risks, plans to accommodate risks, and whether cities plan to work with private or public partners to develop security mitigation and response strategies. The paper concludes that only 19 of the 32 first-round applications to the Smart City Challenge evaluated in this paper address security concerns related to the development of smart transportation systems, and the majority of cities with security plans focus only on mass cybersecurity risks.


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01624576
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309460422
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 17-03272
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 8 2016 11:13AM