How San Antonio, Texas, is investing in tech, innovation, and infrastructure to become an even greater place to live

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  • San Antonio expects its population to grow substantially in the next 20 years.
  • Its Office of Innovation has a mission to identify community needs and find solutions to do better.
  • Current projects include the SmartSA program, the R&D League, and Connected Beyond the Classroom.
  • This article is part of a series focused on American cities building a better tomorrow called “Advancing Cities.”

Over the next 20 years, about 1.1 million more people are expected to call San Antonio, Texas, home, according to US Census estimates. To adjust to the influx of new residents and make it an equitable place to live, San Antonio is embracing new technologies and infrastructure.

Greg Griffin.
Greg Griffin

“It’s really about changing the future into something that’s desirable — what we want it to be, as opposed to just following past trends,” Greg Griffin, assistant professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, told Insider. 

San Antonio’s Office of Innovation is leading the way in this charge by partnering with UTSA, local utility companies, and other organizations. Chief Innovation Officer Brian Dillard said the mission is to identify community needs and find solutions.

Brian Dillard.
Brian Dillard

“It’s transforming the conversation around innovation from technology-driven to community-driven,” he told Insider. “We’re driven by community demands. We’re driven by doing things in a better way.”

Here’s a look at some of the projects San Antonio has in the works.