Close to the 520. Right off Bel-Red road. Directly between Redmond and Bellevue.

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    Bellevue, Smart City

    July 10, 2019

    A man in business attire looking at his phone as he walks to work

    If you’ve spent any measure of time at the rentals in Bellevue, you may have noticed there’s something about this city that sets it apart from many others. It’s clean, well-planned, and on-the-ball when it comes to planning and weaving technological advances into the fabric of its design.

    That’s not accidental, we can assure you. Bellevue is what you might call a “smart city” precisely because that’s the vision of those in charge. There’s even a whole entry about it on the city’s official Information & Technology page:

    “The Information Technology Department is partnering with other city departments and partners outside the city to help achieve the City Council’s vision of a smart city, with services continually shifting from reactive to proactive and predictive. Bellevue’s Smart City Strategy focuses on partnerships in six areas.”

    That might sound like a mouthful, but today, we’re here to help break it all down. Join us as we explore Bellevue’s “smart city” status and what makes this place such an advanced and forward-thinking place to live.

    The Bellevue Way

    On that Information Technology page, the City of Bellevue highlights six points of emphasis for the residents of Bellevue heading into the future:

    • Our residents live in a safe, clean city that promotes healthy living
    • Infrastructure is ample and in excellent condition, including roads, rails, high-speed data, reliable electricity, and clean water
    • A state-of-the-art, intelligent transportation system moves people through the city with a minimum of wait times and frustration
    • We have superb infrastructure to support growing businesses and desirable residential opportunities
    • Our institutes of higher learning are connected physically and digitally

    In many of these areas, the city is already doing a great job, like safety, for instance. Violent crimes, like murder, are almost non-existent within Bellevue, and your chances of being victimized by violent crime in Bellevue is about 1 in 1,003 — compared to 1 in 328 in Washington State at large (which itself is below the national average). Similarly, the rate of property crimes in Bellevue is lower than what it is in the rest of Washington State, and back in 2015, Bellevue ranked Number 3 on CBS News’ list of the 9 Safest Cities in America.

    On other metrics, like infrastructure, Bellevue is striving to make the improvements necessary to put itself ahead of the curve. Savvy readers will note that earlier this year, Washington received middling grades on ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card. The city already knows the areas in which it can improve when it comes to Infrastructure, and as part of the Bellevue Smart plan they recently published, has identified ways to enhance transportation infrastructure through technological partnerships, with a focus on getting the roads prepped for autonomous vehicles and a smoother driving experience for all who traverse Bellevue’s boundaries.

    Bellevue has also made plans to upgrade the city’s water and power delivery for residents. Micro-grids and district energy pilots are part of the future that will improve the city’s energy resiliency, and the city plans to “continue programs to expand renewable energy and develop policies and targets on fossil fuel-free energy.”

    Among its strengths, Bellevue realizes that technology and connectivity rest at the forefront, and are committed to furthering the adoption of new technologies that will propel the city into the future. This includes goals like:

    • Expanding fiber-optics network in the city
    • Future-proofing infrastructure for smart city networks and increasing resiliency
    • Expand Wi-Fi amenities to enhance gathering places and expand options for connecting to the internet (with an emphasis on low-income and student communities)
    • Seeking opportunities to connect schools, hospitals and government facilities to ensure they have the high speed connectivity

    They’ve even laid out a timeline for when some of these ambitious goals should be reached. In the city’s “smart buildings” initiative, for instance, they plan on having improved emergency response times (by integrating security and fire systems with 911) by later this year. When it comes to “smart connectivity,” the city hopes to have increased access to gigabit internet and efficiencies with network integrations by 2020. On the “smart energy” front, they hope to have increased customer access to real-time energy usage data at some point during the next year. Near future enhancements to transportation include “complete LED streetlight upgrades, enhanced traveler info, improved signal system performance monitoring, the deployment of parking management, and an enhanced communication network.”

    And how will we, the public, know that all is going according to plan? The city plans on keeping residents informed, but there are also performance metrics clearly stated in their plan, such as broadband adoption rates, response times for emergency services, numbers of collisions on the roads, service interruptions for water and power, and energy use for buildings throughout the city. Overall Bellevue has proposed some interesting, and, perhaps, audacious proposals for the future vision for the city, but they have a firm belief that the plan can be achieved:

    “This plan brings together a focused vision, clear strategies to achieve that vision, defined objectives for each element and ways to monitor progress. The smart city plan drives Bellevue further down the smart continuum and, in the process, nurtures an environment, an “ecosystem,” for innovation and improvement for the long-term benefit of the community.”

    It won’t be all at once, mind you. But, through incremental changes, clear communication, and persistent dedication toward the goals of a better Bellevue, the future of this city is looking extraordinarily bright.

    Ready to Enjoy the Rentals in Bellevue?

    It’s obvious that Bellevue has a lot going for it, and all that futuristic planning is putting this city on the path to greatness for years to come. It’s just another reason so many want to call Bellevue home, and all the more reason for you to start exploring the city’s most popular places to live, like Hyde Square. Here, you’re right in the midst of much of what makes Bellevue great, and treated to a luxurious rental experience the likes of which might surprise you in the best ways possible. This is how Washington was meant to be experienced, so why not learn more about what Hyde Square is about and start getting ready to make that move?