The city of San Diego and the U.S. Marine Corps have entered into an agreement to collaborate on various smart city initiatives, including programs involving renewable energy, drones and smart streetlights, according to the Mayor's Office.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and Maj. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, the commander of the city's Marine Corps Installations Command, signed a memo of understanding outlining the parameters of the agreement and collaboration. Both will work together to "pilot various innovative solutions," using working groups where needed to review issues and develop action plans to carry out programs. 

The partnership will focus on a number of initiatives, including collaboration involving some 3,200 recently installed smart streetlights, which are equipped with a bevy of sensors that assist with data collection and law enforcement operations.

The city and Corps are also likely to collaborate on drones. Last year, San Diego was one of a handful of cities picked to participate in a UAS testing program run by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Now the Corps will become one of about 20 partners involved in the San Diego region’s consortium for the pilot program.

The collaboration is part of a Marine Corps program called Installation neXt, which seeks to create stronger, more resilient military bases through various initiatives. Often these initiatives are compatible with the smart city model, said Lt. Col. Brandon Newell, West Coast lead for Installations werX West, one of the program’s divisions.

The city and the Corps will soon begin forming working groups to focus on three primary areas of development: protection and security, mobility and public works.

The smart city concept is one that has been increasingly embraced by communities across the country. Initiatives generally revolve around leveraging technology to collect and analyze data, while making service delivery more responsive.