2018 Champion City

Coral Gables, FL : 2018 Champion City

Keep Critical Services Powered When Storms Hit

  • 51,277

  • Raúl Valdés-Fauli

  • Commission - Manager

    Type of Government
  • 2 years

    Length of Term
  • Climate

    Issue Area

The Problem

Like many coastal cities, Coral Gables’ ability to provide emergency services can be impacted when natural disasters occur.

The Idea

The City of Coral Gables will make its critical infrastructure more resilient by integrating smart solar-powered micro-grids that can prioritize power distribution during emergencies, allowing for operations such as public safety services to continue.

What Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Mayor of Coral Gables, FL is saying:

Being named a Champion City helps validate our commitment to merge cutting-edge technology with high-level service enhancements to make our city—and other cities—safer.


Our Prototyping Journey

    Let's Go

  • How we are testing our idea

    Coral Gables is brainstorming with @BloombergCities! Our Coral Gables Core Team is in New York City to participate in the Bloomberg Philanthropies #MayorsChallenge Ideas Camp. They are brainstorming on how to build a smart energy micro-grids prototype.

    10:23 AM - 19 Mar 2018   CityCoralGables  

    Coral Gables is conducting a series of storyboard activities and role plays to inform the development of a computer simulation that will test residents’ and key stakeholders' prioritization of service delivery and the proposed smart micro-grid’s ability to manage different load requirements.

    I love that through this process we get the opportunity to shape our ideas via human interaction. This is exciting.

    City Hall Staff
  • Ideas in action

  • What we’re discovering through testing

    Initially, the team’s testing plan excluded residents because it was highly technical. However during the testing phase they realized that residents are a key group to test with to ensure that their complex micro-grid idea is clear and relatable to stakeholders. They also saw an opportunity to leverage engaged residents to drive consumer demand in the market and spread their grid. By widening their user base, the team are hoping to push their idea from service change to systematic change.

    Initially we thought we wouldn’t need to engage residents as they weren’t the end users… but we realized we were wrong.

    Chelsea Granell, Commissions Office

    The project is extremely technical and the team is iterating around how they can get stakeholders and residents involved with the idea. They are trying to humanize and simplify the technology, and learning how to adapt how they communicate, so that the idea resonates with the different groups.

    Engaging our residents @CityCoralGables’ smart micro-grid backup energy to save lives if powerful #hurricane hits today. Why do it? For #resilience #safety #sustainability. All part of @BloombergDotOrg #mayorschallenge. We win, #PuertoRico wins. #HurricaneIrma #HurricaneStrong

    9:30 AM - 7 Jun 2018   CityCoralGables  
  • Reflections

  • What we've learned

    At the beginning of this process, the Coral Gables team assumed they would build a universal micro-grid system within 6-months. On the first day, the team was on the roof of a building measuring the space for the solar panels. However, they quickly learned they needed to build a prototype with real data and procedures in place. Role playing scenarios with first responders helped them create a more comprehensive and accurate real life simulation model along with a Standard Operating Procedure.

    We’re always so focused on getting it done as fast as possible, but it’s been better to take your time, prototype, get buy-in and engage the community

    Chelsea Granell Lindsey, Commission Liaison