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Around the world, urban populations are rising. Metro Atlanta, for example, is projected to double by the year 2040. This rapid growth puts pressure on cities in terms of resources like food, water, housing and more.

Technology, particularly in the category of smart cities, can provide solutions to some of these challenges. But innovation needs the opportunity to test itself, to iterate until we know what works and what local government should spend time and money investing in.

A coalition of Atlanta public and private organizations are offering up a new opportunity for startups to test solutions for food shortage. Selected startups will be able to pilot their products and solutions in smart “living lab” containers along the highly-trafficked Atlanta BeltLine.

“The goal of this is to see how we can bring our food closer to home,” explained Amol Naik, Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Atlanta. Naik recently participated in a panel discussing the agtech project at the Technology Association of Georgia’s IoT Converge event.

The City of Atlanta is just one partner in the coalition helping to launch the project. The Metro Atlanta Chamber, Invest Atlanta, the BeltLine, and Georgia Power, the state’s largest utility company owned by Southern Company, are also leading the charge.

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