Smart & Resilient Communities

Designing buildings and neighborhoods that use advanced technologies to improve economic prosperity, human well-being, and adaptive capacity.

Quality of Life

Smart communities are learning to use distributed digital technologies to improve quality of life for community residents and workers. However, smart communities are not necessarily more livable, sustainable, or socially just. While technology enables efficiency gains, this does not always translate into improved societal outcomes. For example, real-time traffic information and coordination can improve safety and reduce congestion, but these improvements may prompt a behavioral rebound effect if they induce people to rely more on private vehicles. Ohio State researchers are working with Columbus, Ohio and other cities to pursue a systems approach that improves resilience and accounts for unexpected consequences. For example, to offset the impacts of climate change, such as increased storm intensity, we are developing green infrastructure solutions that help to reduce flooding and stormwater overflow while creating green space and preserving ecosystem functions.

Smart Columbus

Ohio State is collaborating with the City of Columbus and a large team of partners on the Smart City program, which is supported by $140 million in grants and donations, aimed at introducing transportation innovations that improve sustainability and address underserved populations.

Homeland Security

SRE researchers are working on several grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help model, assess and improve the resilience of communities to natural disasters; SRE is also represented on the DHS Flood Resilience Research Review Board.

Smart Grid Technology

Ohio State is working actively with the utility industry and regulatory bodies to analyze opportunities for improving energy efficiency, flexibility, and resilience, which is made possible by the introduction of smart grid technology into households and businesses.


SRE faculty are engaged with government organizations at a local, state, and national level to promote smart and resilient communities. These include the City of Columbus, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Franklin County, the State of Ohio, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation.