In June 2015, City Manager Troy Schulte signed an unprecedented partnership collaboration agreement with Cisco and Sprint to make Kansas City, Missouri the most comprehensive smart city in North America. Through an extensive engagement and needs assessment process, Ashley led the development of the project scope and negotiated contract agreements around data-sharing, access to the public right-of-way, and overall program implementation.

The smart city initiative included the installation of free public WiFi at no cost to the City; deployment of video-as-a-sensor and smart LED lighting; a smart city app; and public kiosks for citizen engagement and access to services along a new 2.2-mile streetcar starter line in the urban core.

In addition, Ashley spearheaded the advancement of public policies around open data and privacy principles. The partnership included a data sharing agreement with Cisco to create a living lab – an open portal for innovating on smart city data by entrepreneurs in a real world environment. Ashley Z. Hand was the project lead.