As technology advances at an exponential pace, public works departments are constantly finding new ways to bring safety, economy, sustainability, and service to their communities. To help our members stay in-the-know on which industry-changing endeavors are on the horizon (or in some cases, already here), APWA hosts an annual contest to determine the top 5 trending technologies in public works.

2024 Top Trending Technologies

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Condition Assessment Data Collection

AI in condition assessment data collection automates and optimizes the gathering of infrastructure asset condition data. Leveraging AI algorithms and machine learning improves efficiency, accuracy, and analysis capabilities.

Availability of Centralized Community GIS Mapping Data

Centralized community GIS/mapping data refers to consolidating geographic information system (GIS) and mapping data in a centralized repository accessible to the community.

Lead Service Line Identification

Lead service line identification refers to the process of determining whether a building or property has a lead service line, which is the pipe that connects the water main to the building’s plumbing system.


Microgrids are localized energy systems that operate independently or in conjunction with the main power grid, consisting of distributed energy resources and smart grid technologies. Microgrids offer increased grid stability, reduced carbon footprint, and the ability to provide localized power in emergencies.

Sustainability Due to Severe Events – Improving Transportation Infrastructure

Sustainability in improving transportation infrastructure refers to incorporating resilient and environmentally-friendly practices and technologies into the design, construction, and operation of transportation systems to mitigate the impacts of severe events.

Read more about the 2024 Top Trending Technologies in the APWA Reporter.

Call for Volunteers: APWA Top Tech 2024 Work Groups

Do you have experience with one of APWA’s 2024 Top Trending Technologies in Public Works? Here’s your opportunity to share your knowledge! Join a work group today to help inform and educate our members on these important advances in the industry.

Please contact to join a work group.

How It Works

APWA Top Tech logo

  1. Each year, the APWA Engineering and Technology Committee’s Trending Technology Subcommittee gathers suggestions and selects the 16 trending technologies that will impact public works in the coming year. Each contender is selected because of its projected impact on the public sector—across all departments and at all levels.
  2. The 16 trending technologies go toe-to-toe in an NCAA-style bracket challenge, where we open the voting up to the public to result in the Trending Technologies for the year.
  3. The five winners are announced in January.
  4. Thanks to your votes, we’re able to develop education on trending technologies that can help public works professionals advance the quality of life for all by making their work more affordable and efficient.

Additional Resources

  • The Resource Center has a collection of education resources our engineering and technology community can listen to, read, or watch. These items include recorded PWX sessions, Click, Listen & Learns, APWA Reporter articles, and more.
  • APWA members interested in discussing engineering and technology topics with other members are encouraged to subscribe within APWA Connect. This forum provides opportunities to post and answer questions to your peers.

Ad for University of Washington