STAR Communities is a nonprofit organization that works to evaluate, improve, and certify sustainable communities. This rating system helps cities and counties achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for their residents.

Each year, the Smart Cities Council donates coaching, workshops, products, services and more free benefits to five communities in North America. These donations will help Move your smart city efforts into the fast lane by applying for a Readiness Challenge Grant. Each of the five winning cities receives a year’s worth of free mentoring, valuable products and services, a custom-designed, on-site Readiness Workshop, membership in the Smart Cities Leadership Circle and worldwide publicity.

The EcoDistricts Incubator was a three-day intensive, project-based workshop designed to accelerate district-scale sustainability across North America. The 2015 Incubator was held in Portland, OR, May 18-20. This year, 12 cities were selected from various regions with neighborhoods representing 5,000 acres of redevelopment across North America. Birmingham was chosen to participate after undergoing a formal application process that involved a review of the city’s goals and objectives and overall vision of a large-scale project meant to foster a vibrant and sustainable community.

The majority of people around the world now live in cities for the first time in human history. This rapid urban growth creates big opportunities and challenges. The need to address them is urgent. You can shape the future of cities by using the latest technologies. Join the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, the UAB School of Engineering, the Alabama Media Group/, Auburn University, and Code for Birmingham, for Alabama's Global Smart Cities Hackathon and be part of one of the biggest and most exciting changes of our times!

The City of Birmingham, in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, was one of 16 cities selected worldwide to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2014.

The Smarter Cities Challenge grant contributes the skills and expertise of IBM’s top talent to help cities address critical issues. During the past three years, 100 cities have been selected to receive grants, with contributions valued at more than $50 million.

UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center and the City of Birmingham have a long-term history of collaborating on projects related to sustainability. UAB, being an urban university, has a direct impact and connection with the City.

The City of Birmingham and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) took a major step toward smarter, healthier and more sustainable development with the Feb. 27, 2013, signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner on projects such as energy efficiency and city planning that accounts for a more “livable” city.