Lights let Little Rock shine in Smart Cities contest | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 13, 2018

Lights let Little Rock shine in Smart Cities contest

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 2:53 PM

click to enlarge The Junction Bridge
  • The Junction Bridge

Little Rock's bridge lighting — a.k.a. River Lights in the Rock — has won an award from the Smart Cities North America Awards of IDC, a technology consulting and marketing company. The award comes in the Tourism, Arts, Libraries, Culture, Open Spaces category of the contest, which is IDC's first.

About the River Lights initiative, made possible with the help of Entergy, Little Rock, North Little Rock, the Clinton Foundation, Koontz Electric and Phillips Color Kinetics:
River Lights in the Rock is a project that provides lighting on three bridges over the Arkansas River with over 2,000 LED lighting fixtures that can be controlled remotely and coordinated with one another, using a cloud-based remote management software. The project can also generate revenue as organizations meeting at the nearby convention center can brand the lighting.
The lights are often coordinated with events; that after the city passed its nondiscrimination ordinance, for example, the Junction Bridge was lit with rainbow colors.

The state also won an award, in the education category, for the Arkansas Public School Computer Network. The write-up:

Arkansas completed its historic broadband initiative in late 2017, providing high-speed broadband to all public K-12 schools, charter schools and education service cooperatives in this predominantly rural State. The APSCN meets the current 2018 ConnectED Internet access goals in all districts, fits within ADE's $11M budget, lowers the cost of internet access for schools, and ensures cost effective network provision beyond 2018.
You can find other winners here. The city's full press release is on the jump.

Little Rock Wins IDC Smart Cities North America Award for
‘River Lights in the Rock’ Lighted Bridges

LITTLE ROCK (April 13, 2018) – This week Little Rock was named a winner in the inaugural IDC Smart Cities North America Awards (SCNAA) for its River Lights in the Rock project. Selected in the category for Tourism, Arts, Libraries, Culture, Open Spaces, the River Lights in the Rock have become part of the fabric of Little Rock’s thriving downtown providing not only an easily recognizable aesthetic benefit, but also contributing to civic engagement as well as tourism and economic development.

Conceived by Mayor Mark Stodola along with Philips Lighting then brought to the Mayor’s Tourism Commission, the project was made possible through the generosity of Entergy Corporation and subsidiary Entergy Arkansas, as well as contributions from the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, the Clinton Foundation, Koontz Electric, and Philips Color Kinetics. River Lights in the Rock provides lighting on three bridges over the Arkansas River with over 2,000 LED lighting fixtures that can be controlled remotely and coordinated with one another, using a cloud-based remote management software. Specifically recognized by IDC was the civic engagement component whereas civic organizations, individuals, and groups hosting conventions in Little Rock can submit lighting requests in recognition of special events from among the 18.6 million color combinations.

“The lighting of our bridges is one of my favorite projects I have worked on as mayor and it is a testament to the foresight of the coalition that made it possible that over four years in, the project is still recognized as a smart city leader,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “This recognition gives the City of Little Rock added encouragement to continue seeking smart city solutions like our CitizenConnect, open data portal, and more.”

Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Gretchen Hall spoke to the impact of the lighted bridges stating, “Little Rock’s night skyline is immediately recognizable thanks to River Lights in the Rock and we continue to see families flocking to the light shows and lit pathways. We also enjoy the civic engagement aspect with numerous special events each year made more memorable through the customization of the lights.”

After weeks of public voting with close to 3,000 voters, IDC Government Insights announced the winners of the inaugural IDC Smart Cities North America Awards (SCNAA). The new awards were designed to recognize the progress North American communities have made in executing Smart Cities projects, as well as provide a forum for sharing best practices to help accelerate Smart City development in the region. Winners were named in 14 categories and with a tie in both Education and Sustainable Infrastructure, 16 cities were represented, underscoring the overwhelming success and efficiency of smart city projects implemented across the country. Winners will be honored at the Smart Cities New York event, May 8-10th at Manhattan’s Pier 36. To learn more about these winning projects, please visit

“The overwhelming positive response to our inaugural Smart Cities North America Awards has been encouraging as winners represent the most innovative smart city projects, implemented across the country, designed to improve our cities for the betterment of its citizens,” said Ruthbea Yesner, Vice President, IDC Government Insights and Smart Cities Strategies. “We are thrilled to promote their success and offer a forum for this community to share best practices and lessons learned as government officials look to replicate similar projects in their own municipalities.”

For additional information about these awards or to speak with Ruthbea Yesner, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or

About IDC Government Insights
IDC Government Insights assists government policy, program, and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of government and IT industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the Federal/Central and local/provincial Governments. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 703-485-8300. Visit the IDC Government Insights Community at

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