US President Barack Obama has announced his administration will invest more than $160m in innovative technology across a range of American cities in an attempt to help local communities tackle key sustainability challenges.

The 'smart cities' program was announced in concurrence with a forum as part of Smart Cities Week and will encourage cities to stop looking for a ‘single silver bullet’ and instead cooperate with governments, NGOs and businesses to build thriving sustainable communities.

The President said: “Every community is different, with different needs and different approaches. But communities that are making the most progress on these issues have some things in common. They don't look for a single silver bullet; instead they bring together local government and nonprofits and businesses and teachers and parents around a shared goal.”

The funding will see The Department of Energy (DOE) invest around $5m to support a Systems and Modeling for Accelerated Research in Transportation (SMART) Mobility consortium, which examines fuel consumption along with transport efficiency. Three million dollars will be invested in smart building technologies that optimise energy saving, as well as funding initiatives to develop self-commissioning buildings and to promote better access to building energy data in the new smart cities.