From the Smarter Cities website:
When thinking about the urban environment, more often than not problems come first to mind. Less commonly thought about is the potential presented by cities, potential to rethink and reshape their environments responsibly. Today urban leaders—mayors, businesses and community organizations—are in the environmental vanguard, making upgrades to transportation infrastructure, zoning, building codes, and waste management programs as well as improving access to open space, green jobs, affordable efficient housing and more. If they succeed in making their cities more efficient, responsible and sustainable, what will result will be smarter places for business and healthier places to live.
Smarter Cities, a project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit 501(c)(3), is a multimedia web initiative whose mission is to foster a little friendly competition (see Annual Cities Research and Rankings below) as well as provide a forum for exploring the progress American cities are making in environmental stewardship and sustainable growth. As a new media resource, Smarter Cities is a destination site for all who have a stake in their city's future—from students to policy makers and city planners, from business leaders to community groups and urban dwellers—to learn about best practices and initiatives, share ideas and innovative solutions, and post news, events and opportunities. The site offers many tools (including Citizen Reporting as described below) by which to bring us together in dialogue and collective pursuit of our goal—locally, regionally and nationally—of supporting smart, efficient, and livable cities.