The Regional Connectivity Ring (RCR) involves building out a fiber optic backbone system which will serve as the foundation for smart region development in the Southside region of Virginia. The RCR will run through each of the five Southside cities: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake. Their proposed strategy incorporates a dark fiber, open access ring, which will be used to connect all five cities to the transatlantic cable landings. The committee believes the Regional Connectivity Ring (RCR) is a foundation for Smart Region development and digitally-empowered communities.
Benefits from RCR will be a catalyst for social and cultural change with a goal of empowering citizens within their communities. The regional ring will allow local governments to serve citizens and engage businesses while simultaneously laying the groundwork for deploying future technologies and security enhancements, and improving interoperability.
The Southside Cities Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Portsmouth are each developing their own Smart City projects based around the Regional Smart City Initiative. Each project will better connect and enhance their city’s individual needs. Such regional cooperation serves as a launching pad for introducing replicable, scalable solutions to common challenges and advancing innovation.
The region is developing and enabling transportation and innovation corridors such as the Entertainment Corridor in Virginia Beach, which extends from the Oceanfront to the Convention center. The corridor encompasses the revitalization of the Entertainment District, with the help of Pharrell Willams, the once Dome site that held concerts will be made into a Surf Wave Park surrounded by shops, restaurants, and music.
Norfolk will be incorporating smart technologies into their Elizabeth River Trail. Including new technology will enhance the citizen’s experience on the trail. The goal is to reduce waste, a more guided experience, and create a more sustainable environment.
In collaboration with the Dollar Tree company, the downtown area of Chesapeake will have their entertainment and shops improved to create a functioning walking life center where people can live, play, and work all within walking distance.